Miami football breakout star safety Bubba Bolden

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 become a breakout star for the Miami football team in 2020.

The addition of safety Bubba Bolden to the Miami football team in January 2019 upgraded the talent for the Hurricanes overall and on defense. After playing only five games in 2019 because of eligibility issues and a season-ending ankle injury Bolden has become a breakout star in 2020.

Through the first three Miami football games of 2020, Bolden has 17 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, one pass breakup and two forced fumbles. Bolden’s pass breakup was a deflection that junior cornerback Al Blades Jr. caught in the end zone for an interception.

Bolden has had breakout performances on the ABC Saturday Night College Football Game of the Week on national TV the last two weeks. Against Louisville two weeks ago, Bolden had 11 tackles, one TFL and one forced fumble. Bolden had four tackles, two TFLs, a sack, an interception, one PBU and a forced fumble against Florida State.

Bolden was not on the original Thorpe Award Watch List for the best defensive back in the country but is quickly making a statement that he should be. Pro Football Focus rates Bolden as the sixth-best safety in FBS this season. Bolden has been consistent against the run, in coverage and as a pass rusher.

Bolden has lined up most often in the box as a traditional strong safety and in the slot in coverage. The PFF  grades for Bolden are a 77.5 defensive grade which ranks sixth nationally at safety, a 72.9 pass rush grade, 74.7 coverage grade ranking 17th and 76.1 grade against the run to rank sixth among safeties.

Bolden and senior Amari Carter have led the Miami defense from at safety this season. Carter leads Miami with 19 tackles and one fumble recovery. Bolden is second on Miami in tackles. Gurvan Hall who was the leading returning tackler for Miami in 2020 is 10th with nine tackles. Hall will miss the first half against Clemson.

Next. Miami football is very relevant in 2020. dark

Hall recevied a targeting call against Florida State last week. That makes the play of Bolden and Carter even more crucial against the Tigers. Miami is playing its biggest game since they lost 38-3 to Clemson in the 2017 ACC Championship game. Bolden is proving he is one of the elite safeties in college football.