If you believe various scouting websites and publications, junior running back Brandon Bolden may have to make a decision during the off season as to whether or not he wants to return to Ole Miss for his senior season.Ask Bolden, and he’s already made up his mind — at least for now.
On Monday Bolden said he hasn’t thought about the upcoming NFL Draft at all and that he expects to be in Red and Blue next season, saying, “I’m just playing football. I want to come back for my senior season just to have fun and have a senior year of college.”
Over the course of the season Bolden may have played his way into some draft talks and rankings thanks in part to losing weight (he’s listed at 5-foot-11, 215-pounds) during the offseason, which has allowed him to hit the edge quicker and gain larger clumps of yardage at a time.
After averaging 5.5 yards per carry as a freshman and 4.8 as a sophomore, Bolden has averaged 6.2 this season, including a career-long run of 71 yards against Fresno State.
Heading into this week’s matchup with Mississippi State, Bolden is 69 yards away from owning Ole Miss’ sixth 1,000-yard season in school history. The last guy, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, went undrafted but was quickly signed by the New England Patriots and has made himself a fixture in their backfield.
His yardage ranks him sixth in the Southeastern Conference, while his 13 rushing touchdowns is the fourth-best total in the conference.
In addition to his rushing ability, Bolden has shown he’s not a one-trick pony, catching balls out of the backfield, quarterbacking the Wild Rebel, returning kicks being used as a gunner on the punt team.
A quick search on the Internet yielded various results with Bolden sitting around the top, ranging from the No. 5 running back available to No. 20.
According to BleacherReport (as of Oct. 18), Bolden is ranked as the No. 5 overall running back, behind Mark Ingram (Alabama), LaMichael James (Oregon), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma) and Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech). (Which means, they have him ahead of John Clay (Wisconsin), Quizz Rodgers (Oregon State), Jeff Demps (Florida), Derrick Locke (Kentucky) and perhaps the biggest name of the group, Noel Devine (West Virginia)).
NFL Draft Scout has Bolden ranked as the No. 14 running back available.
TWITTER WORLD: If you’re Twitter-able, you can follow Bolden at (@Rebel_225animal).
Speaking of Twitter, former Ole Miss speedster Mike Wallace has joined the Twitter universe. You can follow him at @Wallace17_DaKid. (November 23, 2010)