National Signing Day 2023: Georgia flips KJ Bolden from Florida State as Dawgs bolster top-ranked class

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Five-star safety prospect KJ Bolden flipped his commitment from Florida State to Georgia on Wednesday, giving the Bulldogs’ top-ranked class a momentous jolt as the early signing period opened Wednesday during National Signing Day. Bolden is ranked the No. 1 safety in the class and No. 15 overall prospect by 247Sports after shining for powerhouse Buford High School in Georgia.

Bolden originally committed to the Seminoles on Aug. 5, and visited the Florida State campus just last weekend. But Georgia stayed in dogged pursuit of the in-state prospect by making a pair of in-home visits with the star safety this month.

Flipping Bolden marks a rare recruiting win at Buford for Georgia, which has often struggled to attract the elite talent from Buford despite the recruiting success under Kirby Smart. The No. 1 ranked quarterback in the 2024 class, Dylan Raiola, flipped from Georgia to Nebraska after shining for Buford. With Bolden’s decision, however, the Bulldogs have scored a huge win from the school which sits just an hour from the UGA campus.

At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Bolden proved himself to be a dynamic playmaker in multiple phases of the game at Buford. Defensively, he totaled 33 tackles with four interceptions this season while also making 30 receptions for 663 yards and 14 touchdowns on offense. Here is a detailed look at his game from 247Sports director of scouting Andrew Ivins:

A three-phase playmaker for one of Georgia’s top high school football programs who is viewed by many as a defensive back at the next level because of his range and ability to create takeaways. Projects best as a deep safety that can erase mistakes and prevent touchdowns, but has shown over the years that he’s also quick enough and fluid enough to hang as a slot defender or an outside corner. Speed constantly shows up under the lights, which isn’t surprising given strong track and field background: bronze in the triple jump as a sophomore after qualifying for states in the 100-meter dash as a freshman. Instinctive as a defender. Owns more of a wiry frame at this stage, and is likely going to need to add some mass to improve success rate as an open-field tackler, but is surprisingly physical for his size and can create some pop with his shoulder pads.

Bolden also competed in track for Buford, shining in events such as the long jump, triple jump and 100-meter dash. Thus, it’s no surprise that he also returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns in 2023.

 

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