Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll told Slade Bolden when he visited Tuscaloosa last month that he saw some of Julian Edelman in his game.
Bolden, a 3-star athlete from West Monroe (La.) High School, is now an Alabama commit. He chose the Crimson Tide over TCU. Bolden is listed as an all-purpose running back on the 247Sports Composite, but Bolden was offered by Alabama as an athlete. Like Edelman with the New England Patriots, he is expected to play slot receiver.
“They are getting an outstanding football player and young man,” West Monroe coach Jerry Arledge told SEC Country. “He has great character and great leadership abilities. He has a tremendous amount of confidence. We are a 5A school and have a good football program. I can say that he’s as good of an athlete as we’ve had come through here in the 26 years I’ve been here.”
Arledge first realized Bolden, the Crimson Tide’s eighth commitment in the 2018 class, was a special athlete before his freshman season at West Monroe. Arledge said he normally doesn’t let rising freshmen compete in the summer with the team but that didn’t stop Bolden from wanting to play.
West Monroe usually participates in 7-on-7 games with local high schools in North Louisiana during the summer. Bolden made his name known during his first game.
“Being the kind of young man he is, he got out there and got a rep or two,” Arledge recalled. “We were out there at one of our crosstown rival schools and he was playing slot. He caught the ball, takes off and he wasn’t touched. I couldn’t believe it.”
The 5-foot-11, 198-pound prospect, who will early enroll at Alabama, has played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback, safety and on special teams in his three seasons so far at West Monroe. He started at quarterback as a freshman and led his team to the state semifinals.
Arledge said without Bolden on his roster, he’s not sure how good his teams would have been the last few years.
“Without him, I don’t know where we would be,” Arledge said. “We wouldn’t have won the number of games we have (34).”
West Monroe High School is alma mater of former Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson, who’s now with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.