Utah is losing multiple players early to the 2017 NFL Draft, with safety Marcus Williams and offensive tackle Garett Bolles both declaring for the draft. While it may seem like a negative losing two incredibly talented players, they both are making the right decision, and in the long run, this is great for Utah football. We already broke down why Williams made the right choice. We now take a look at why Bolles did.
Bolles is still a bit raw, only playing one year of FBS football and three years of offense overall. He however has sky high potential. He has the prototypical size NFL teams covet at left tackle. He has great footwork as well. Bolles is incredibly athletic, especially for his size. He uses sound, fundamental blocking technique. Bolles also has a serious nasty streak on the field, which is something you love to see from offensive linemen. Because of these things, he could be the first offensive lineman off the board in the 2017 NFL Draft. Left tackle is a position NFL teams are willing to spend a very high draft pick on for the right player.
While Bolles was a monster on the football field, he was a well-spoken, gracious individual off the field. I had the pleasure of interviewing him several times, and I always came away impressed. Bolles will do quite well during interviews with NFL executives.
Bolles, who served an LDS Mission, will be 25 years old as a rookie. He and his wife also just had their first child. These factors further illustrate that turning pro makes sense for Bolles not just on the field but also off the field. Being able to help his family with life-changing money is a no-brainer.
Even though he only played at Utah for one year, Bolles made a huge impression. Fans will remember him for destroying USC linebacker Cameron Smith. Franchise left tackles do not come around often. Utah was lucky to have Bolles. While losing him hurts for next season, his story of success at Utah will be a great tool for the Utah coaches, especially Jim Harding, to use to recruit more elite offensive linemen. Bolles truly was a Hometown Hero, and hopefully his success story at the U inspires more local players to follow in his footsteps.