December 27, 2007

Bright future for Bolton

When the Tide landed the commitment of Norcross athlete Devonta Bolton, debates over the 6-foot-3, 220-pound athlete didn't end when he gave his verbal pledge to the Tide at a press conference at his school.

From that day forward, fans have often speculated on the versatile star's eventual role at the Capstone which has ranged from tight end to safety to linebacker to receiver.

So where will Bolton play when he reports to Tuscaloosa this summer? According to Norcross Head Coach Keith Maloof, anywhere the Tide coaches want him.

"I think the Alabama staff will probably have a big debate over where they want him, and he will do a fine job wherever they put him," said Maloof, whose Blue Devils went 10-2 this fall behind the work of Bolton and Southern Cal commit and fellow receiver Brice Butler. "If Kirby Smart wins that battle, he will make a fine safety. If the offensive guys get him, he can be a big possession receiver with great hands or bulk up and be a super athletic tight end."

Bolton finished his senior campaign with 25 catches for 451 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, he totaled 47 total tackles with six for a loss, a sack, a caused fumble and five interceptions from his safety position.

"He didn't have super numbers because you are talking about a kid who plays at the highest level of high school football in the state of Georgia and he never came off the field," said Maloof. "There isn't but a handful of two-way kids in Class AAAAA in the entire state, and Devonta did it all year. His presence was tremendous because he forced many teams to do away with challenging us deep because he was always lurking back there, and offensively he complimented Brice perfectly. I am as pleased as I can be with his season."

Bolton still has some academic work to gain freshmen eligibility status, but according to Maloof, Bolton's progress is right on track.

"Devonta is a great kid and was a true leader for us this year. I look forward to him having an outstanding career at Alabama. Physically, he is going to bring a great asset to their team and I know it would be difficult for me to settle on a position for him. I had the luxury of playing him both-ways so it wasn't a problem."

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