Skip to main content

Bolles turned his life around to get to NFL Combine

Garett Bolles' path to the NFL Combine has been a long and complicated one.

He was a lost kid as a teenager, who got into drugs and ran into trouble with the law. He was suspended or kicked out of five different schools, according to published reports, and even spent time in jail.

He was eventually kicked out of his own house, which prompted the beginning of his transformation from juvenile delinquent to top NFL Draft prospect.

That process was kick-started when Greg Freeman (Bolles' former Lacrosse coach) and his family took Bolles in, and put him on the straight and narrow path.

"When the Freeman family came and picked me off the street, that became my family," Bolles said. "I love them dearly. They changed my life forever. I'm the man I am today because of them."

To see Bolles Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, calm and collected as the media peppered him with questions about his past, it reminds us that anyone can change their path in life.

"I grew up in a rough childhood and things like that," Bolles said Thursday. "You guys know my story. I'm a changed man and I know exactly what I want and where I'm going. I just got married a year ago and I have a son, so I have to take care of them."

Bolles, 24, spent a couple years in the garage repair business before getting back into football at Snow College, a two-year state college in rural central Utah, and then one year at the University of Utah.

He is now among the top tackle prospects in this draft. Bolles (6-5, 297) has played offensive tackle just three years, which makes him a bit of a raw prospect, but it also means he has a very high ceiling given his athletic traits.

The Lions could have a need at right tackle depending on what happens in free agency, and Bolles could potentially end up being an option for them at pick 21.

While Bolles has certainly changed his life off the field, on it, he says he's still a "nasty prick."

"When I'm on the field, I want to put people in the dirt," he said. "That's what I'm here for. As an offensive lineman, you want to be the nastiest prick you can be. Whoever is in front of me, I'm going to drive him and put him in the dirt.

"I'm just going to try and be that every single day and when I come off the field, I love my family, and I just learned how to turn the switch and just go back to the new Garett.

Is there any chance that Bolles could revert back to his old self? Could the mistakes of his past catch up with him once again in the NFL?

"I don't even know the old Garett, if you guys are wondering," he said. "I don't even know who that old Garett is. I know the new Garett.

"I know exactly what I want to do and I'm just grateful to be here. It's a great experience and I'm really looking forward to living my dream some day of playing in the National Football League."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content