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Football: Woodbury's Bolden commits to Vanderbilt

Woodbury’s Nico Bolden (bottom) makes a tackle on an Eastview player during the first game of the season at WHS on Sept. 2. (Bulletin file photo)

Woodbury senior football player Nico Bolden announced his college decision last week with a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt University.

Bolden signaled his commitment to Vanderbilt on his Twitter account on Nov. 21. The decision was made just days after taking an official visit over the weekend to the Nashville-based Division 1 school. He had the opportunity to see Vanderbilt’s 38-17 home victory over Ole Miss on Nov. 19.

“They have great academics,” Bolden said. “And the location of Vanderbilt is in Nashville. It’s a great location, great restaurants, a great city. I just really liked it. The campus is beautiful.”

Bolden said he had received offers from 13 different Division 1 schools during the recruitment process. Other schools he closely considered were Washington State, Syracuse and New Mexico.

Bolden has played multiple positions on the field during his high school career at Woodbury. Last season he played mostly defensive back and also helped provide offense as a wide receiver.

Bolden said he was recruited to the Vanderbilt program as an outside linebacker. However, the Woodbury senior added that he is comfortable anywhere.

“I can play any position on the field,” Bolden said. “Once I learn the playbook and their scheme I should be good.”

Woodbury head coach Andy Hill said he was not surprised to hear Vanderbilt’s plan to make him an outside linebacker. Bolden, who is 6-foot 4-inches tall, has plenty of size for a defensive back in high school. The versatility of Bolden should be a big help.

“They can kind of build him into what they want,” Hill said. “That’s what I think they liked the most, is the fact they can bulk him up and have him play outside linebacker. They can just add some lean muscle mass and make him be a safety. I think he gives them a lot of options.”

Hill said that Bolden had a lot of responsibility in both stopping run and pass plays with the Woodbury defense. Free safeties in the defense will help stop the run if they see one developing.

“He makes his read, and if he gets a run read he is expected to be in the box, five yards deep to fill in,” Hill said. ”That’s why he was our second-leading tackler behind Kolade (Amusan), because he did that really well.”

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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