Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss the latest news surrounding Louisiana athlete Slade Bolden, who just happens to be committed to rival Alabama.
Slade Bolden reaffirms commitment to the Tide
SHREVEPORT, La. — At one point, LSU was the favorite to land a commitment from Slade Bolden.
After naming the Tigers to his final 3 in July after a solid performance at the elite high school camp, Bolden narrowed his options down to TCU and Alabama before eventually settling on the Crimson Tide in early August.
Bolden might have committed early, but he took his time with the recruiting process. Unofficially, that process is over with, as the 3-star athlete from West Monroe (La.) High School maintains he is locked in with Alabama.
“Not too many schools are talking to me right now,” Bolden told SEC Country at Battle on the Border. “TCU, every now and then, but nothing much. I’m not looking to go out. I may go to a [Louisiana] Tech game to watch some college football, but I’m not going to chase after other schools. Once I committed, I committed. The only thing that may change my mind is if something out of the ordinary happened. But right now, I’m 100 percent.”
Bolden eliminated the in-state Tigers from his final grouping of schools after some uncertainty over his role in Matt Canada’s newly installed offense. Bolden worked out as a wide receiver and also a slot receiver while visiting in Baton Rouge.
A few weeks later during his inaugural visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Bolden impressed the Tide’s coaching staff with his ability to do, well, a little bit of everything. That’s how he earned a committable offer from Alabama, and that Swiss Army knife role is precisely what he was looking for in his college decision.
“I felt like the offensive coordinator [Brian Daboll] was happy, we had a [bond] down there,” Bolden recalled. “I felt like he wanted a guy that plays a little slot, like some of the guys he coached in the past at New England. Coach [Nick] Saban told me I’m clearly coming down as an athlete — to play running back, outside, heck, even some defense. Coach Daboll seems like he wants to keep me in the slot position.”
The versatile role on offense paired with the lasting first impression when he stepped foot on Alabama’s campus is what sold Bolden on the Crimson Tide ahead of his Aug. 3 decision.
As he put it, he did his homework and visited the campuses of Alabama, LSU and TCU before making up his mind. Only one of those schools reminded him of his home in West Monroe.
“It was a big relief,” Bolden said. “I found the right place for me and I’m glad it’s over with. I didn’t rush anything. I made sure it was right. I’m excited and I know there’s a target on my back being an Alabama commit, but it doesn’t matter. West Monroe always has a target on its back anyway.”
Will Slade Bolden officially visit LSU?
Bolden has just one official visit scheduled at the moment. He’ll return back to Tuscaloosa, Ala., when the Tide hosts LSU on Nov. 4.
That’s the only official visit the 3-star athlete plans on taking this fall.
Bolden, who was raised a fan of LSU and at one point was favoring the Tigers immediately following his offer from coach Ed Orgeron, is heeding the advice of one of his high school coaches, James Remedies. It’s nothing personal, but Bolden emphasized the word “commitment” in discussing his fall plans and one planned visit.
“I feel like when you commit, it’s like getting married,” he began. “You don’t want to commit to a girl and then say you’re going to see other girls. I’m committed to Alabama.”
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound athlete is firm in his commitment to Alabama, and LSU shifted its attention to other athletes and slot receivers. The Tigers accepted a verbal pledge from 3-star athlete Tae Provens, who will be utilized in a similar sort of way as Bolden will be in Tuscaloosa.
When asked whether LSU still has a chance with the state’s No. 20-ranked prospect, Bolden supplied a rather honest response.
“I’d say that they’re out of it,” he said. “I’ve always been a fan, but that’s just how it is.”
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here.