SAF/WR KJ Bolden (6-1 185) of Buford, GA is one of the top athletes in the nation for the 2024 class. Not only does he standout on the football field catching passes and roaming the secondary, he’s also a track athlete running the sprints and competing in the triple-jump.
Bolden has family spread throughout the state of South Carolina, so Clemson and USC are two programs near to his heart. This weekend he will make a return visit to Clemson for the NC State game. He was there last season for the Florida State game and has been there before on other visits and for camps. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and safeties coach Mickey Conn have made an impression on him.
“I like Clemson. Coach Dabo has a family environment over there. They are big on academics,” Bolden said. “I just love coach Mickey Conn, the safeties coach. He’s really made me feel like I’m already on the team. They use safeties like athletes, they put them all over the field. That’s what I like about them a lot.”
Bolden also likes the familiar feel of the Clemson program.
“At my high school, we run things just how Clemson runs it,” Bolden said. “I feel like the things they do for their players is normal, because we go through the same thing. So, basically my school reminds me of Clemson.”
Bolden has not been to USC for a game but plans to take in one at Williams-Brice Stadium in October or November. He was in Columbia last summer for a camp but instead turned that into a recruiting visit with Shane Beamer, Torrian Gray and Justin Stepp sharing with him their thoughts on the program.
“Me and Coach Beamer, we text every two days,” Bolden said. “I talk to Coach Gray, and I used to talk to Coach Stepp. South Carolina is where most of my family at. I’ve got to keep them around, there always going to be in my recruiting because they are the hometown basically.”
Beamer’s task in building the USC program is to bring in more talented players like Bolden, who said Beamer’s pitch to him centers on helping build something new from the ground up.
“He said they are in the rebuilding process, they are rebuilding everything,” Bolden said. “We always talk about life. He sends me quotes and videos of them getting ready for the game. They impress me a lot. He’s rebuilding most of their facilities, and he’s trying to bring new guys in that are really closer. They are like a tight family. They are all around for each other, and I like that about them. And he’s brought back that hard work, like old South Carolina. I like that about them.”
This season Bolden has been to games at Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio State and he was in Atlanta for the Clemson-Georgia Tech game. Over the summer he also visited Michigan, Michigan State and Tennessee. His offer list includes schools from coast to coast, and his plan is to name a top list of maybe 13 or so in the next couple of months and announce a commitment sometime in 2023.