Yes, you read that correctly. Syracuse Football, a program that struggled and then some in the recruiting stratosphere throughout Dino Babers’ tenure, is hosting a five-star commit this weekend in addition to a bunch of other four-stars. KJ Bolden is the #11 overall recruit in the country and the top safety prospect, and all of a sudden SU is in the mix.
You don’t need to look too far to find the reason why. In an interview with 247 Sports, Bolden’s father Kai made it clear that “he’s got a good relationship with Coach Fran (Brown). Isn’t that a shocker? Brown recruited Bolden to Georgia while he was still in Athens, and the relationship has not deteriorated with Brown getting a promotion in Central New York. If that doesn’t say anything about the pull Brown has, what does? Because Bolden is probably not visiting Syracuse this weekend for the weather.
It cannot be understated how monumental of an occasion this weekend is for SU. The program hasn’t had a true 4-star recruit since Enrique Cruz in 2021, and as under-appreciated as the position is, most offensive lineman recruits aren’t exactly marquee or make the big, game-changing plays late. This weekend, you have impact an defensive lineman with KingJoseph Edwards, a pair of highly-touted wide receivers, and a potential quarterback transfer from Buffalo in Cole Snyder (not Swider). For as good as all these prospects are, none of them have anywhere close to the pedigree or swagger that Bolden comes in with. He’s the cherry on top to what has been an unbelievably good weekend for Brown.
There is an elephant in the room, though. Bolden is committed to Florida State right now, which isn’t exactly a great thought at first glance. But step back and think about it now. The Seminoles demolished the Orange 41-3 in October, they were two teams that did not belong on the same football field. But now, you’re telling us that Bolden is taking an official visit this weekend when the exact verbiage regarding his commitment on 247 Sports is “hard commit”? Wow. Additionally, some of the other schools that have entered the race are Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, and Texas A&M (Elijah Robinson…). To say this is a welcome sight is a massive understatement. The standards of the program are changing to the point where a 5-star is taking a visit despite having already committed, and that’s incredible.
Who knows if it will ultimately end with him flipping his commitment, but KJ Bolden’s visit alone is a massive accomplishment for a program that has been down-in-the-doldrums when it comes to recruiting lately. Times are changing for the better.