Hard Decisions

California athlete Omar Bolden officially visited UTEP in November but it was too far away. He's also tripping to Washington State on December 9 and Washington on January 5. The Huskies lead unless USC offers.

Three-star cornerback/running back (ranked as the No. 36 safety in the country by Scout.com) Omar Bolden (5-10, 197, 4.4), from Ontario Colony (Calif.), now says Washington leads slightly over USC, Oregon State, Nebraska, Washington State and Utah. Only the Trojans haven't offered.

"My number one choice at this point is Washington," Bolden said. "I have an opportunity to come in and play right away. The coaches are saying that I could play offense and defense. Coach Trent Miles (running backs) and Coach J. D. Williams (secondary) both say I can play as a running back or a cornerback. I love both sides of the ball. Washington also has a culinary program--my field of study. My official visit is going to be in early December. It hasn't been set yet.

"I grew up with USC being my favorite team. I was born in the area and it's close to home. Being close to home is important. Even though they don't have a culinary program, there is a school that offers it close to USC. My parents want me to stay on the West Coast. If I ended up going to another school besides USC, it could be possible that my father would move to be with me and to attend my games.

"USC would be the ideal school," he said. "I currently don't have an offer from the Trojans because I needed to bring up my grades. I brought up my grades after completing summer school. I'm just waiting on my official transcripts, to give to USC. After they get them they said I'd have an offer. Then we could set up an official visit.

"No one school is recruiting me the hardest. I talk to all the coaches. All of them call me once a week. I'm taking all five official visits, even though Washington and USC are my top two favorites. I really could go anywhere. I play three positions (cornerback, safety and running back). I'm thinking about what position I want to play. It's a hard decision. I want to play in the best spot that will take me to the next level (NFL).

"I took an official visit to UTEP November 4," Bolden said. "I loved it. As soon as I got off the plane I felt like such an important person. When we went to dinner, my food was brought to me as soon as I ordered. I took a tour through the school and learned all about their programs. I loved the fact that the weight room sits above the stadium. While you're working out you can look over the stadium and see everything. The whole school is clean. It looks amazing. But it's too far away for me.

"I'm not looking to make my decision any time soon. My school is in the Central Division Semifinals (10-2). Friday we're playing Canyon Springs and we're expected to lose by one touchdown. I don't think so. I'm only worried about getting the championship ring right now. I'm not thinking about anything else. I'll focus on college when my games are over.

"The championships end December 8," Bolden said. "I fly out to Washington State on December 9 for my official visit. I visit Washington on January 5. I also want to visit Oregon. I've never been out of California and I'm taking my time to look at all the possibilities. I probably won't make my decision until January."

Bolden reports a 2.5 core GPA and is taking the SAT on December 2.

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