West Monroe, Louisiana athlete Slade Bolden became Nick Saban’s first running back of the 2018 recruiting class late Thursday afternoon when Bolden chose Alabama over TCU.
3-star West Monroe (La.) ATH Slade Bolden commits to Alabama— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) August 3, 2017
Tide is getting a stud football player, better person pic.twitter.com/soyTliPVsa
And he’s no slouch, either.
Although Bolden comes with only a 3-star ranking at this point (this may change depending on his senior season), his junior highlights show an electric offensive and defensive player.
Depending on the recruiting service, Bolden is an all-purpose back: a player who can make plays behind the quarterback as well as down the field. Others see him as the do-everything “athlete,” which may be more apt considering he lined up at quarterback and in the secondary for good measure.
The quarterback title is an interesting one as the offense he appears to be in at West Monroe HS likes to run out of the Wildcat formation frequently. He doesn’t appear to have a bad arm, but he certainly looks more comfortable as a bounce-outside type of runner.
This was probably attractive to the Tide staff as Saban is always looking for certain wrinkles to pull out at specific times.
In the championship game against Clemson, Sarkisian called a trick play that involved Jalen Hurts lateraling the ball to former 4-star “athlete” ArDarius Stewart who threw a crisp 25-yard pass to O.J. Howard which set up the go-ahead score.
Stewart played quarterback his senior year at Fultondale High School and four years later, he was able to use his gifts one last time in the national championship.
Bolden seems to be that type of player.
2017 has a bit of a logjam at the running back position for the Tide, but there’s a good chance that two of the top guys on this year’s team will be gone, leaving opportunities for Bolden when he steps on campus.
Congrats to Bolden and his family!