21 Days to Miami football: Safety Bubba Bolden ready for breakout season

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Redshirt junior safety Bubba Bolden has had a long journey to the Miami football program as he is on the cusp of a breakout season.

Bubba Bolden has had a tough journey ahead of his junior season with the Miami football team. A star four-star signee with USC, the Bolden never became the star projected as the 59th ranked player and seventh-ranked safety in the class of 2017. Bolden was contributing for the Hurricanes in 2019 before a season-ending injury.

The injury occurred while Bolden was celebrating an interception with teammates during Miami’s 27-10 victory at Florida State in 2020. Bolden is set to be a part of a three-man rotation at safety with senior Amari Carter and junior Gurvan Hall in 2020. Those three together can form an elite safety unit for Miami.

Bolden had 11 tackles, one interception, one pass breakup and one forced fumble in his first season after transferring from USC. The season-ending injury and having to sit out early in the season because of the transfer limited Bolden to five games in 2019. If he can stay healthy Bolden is a presence in the back of the defense.

At 6’3, 200 pounds, Bolden is imposing in the secondary. Defensive coordinator Blake Baker praised the attributes Bolden brings to the Miami defense and how much the Las Vegas native has grown in the year since joining the Hurricanes. Bolden should be a major contributor for the Hurricanes in 2020.

"“I’ve been very pleased with Bubba….He’s a long, rangy guy. He’s making plays on the ball. He’s physical, but you can definitely see that he’s growing more and more comfortable day by day, rep by rep and just more comfortable and confident around the guys.Him being here a full calendar year almost now, that natural progression has really taken place and he’s doing a lot of good things out there on that football field for us,”"

Staying healthy and on the field will be critical for Bolden in 2020. Miami has depth at safety, but behind Bolden, Carter and Hall are a trio of freshman. The Hurricanes received the tough news on Tuesday that highly regarded freshman safety Avantae Williams has to sit out the 2020 season because of a medical issue.

Next. 21 Days to Miami Football: DE Cameron Williams hopes to break rotation. dark

Williams’ absence hurts the depth Miami has at safety in 2020. Bolden, Carter and Hall will receive the vast majority of snaps. If Bolden can stay healthy in 2020 with his playmaking ability he will have a chance to earn All-ACC honors.