Suspended safety Bubba Bolden reinstated by USC football

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /
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Safety Bubba Bolden has been reinstated by USC football after missing the 2018 season due to a student conduct suspension.

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Bubba Bolden may be making an unexpected comeback to USC football.

On Monday afternoon, Adam Maya of TrojanSports.com reported the Trojans’ decision to reinstate Bolden, who had been suspended for two years because of a student conduct violation.

While Bolden seemed to confirm the news, quote tweeting Maya and others spreading the news, Antonio Morales of The Athletic tweeted an official statement from USC saying Bolden would be allowed to enroll for spring classes as recent court rulings have changed the procedures for student conduct investigations. Bolden’s disciplinary hearing will thus be reopened.

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Bolden had been set to transfer to another program and it is not clear if he will opt to stick it out at USC or if the university will ultimately reverse their initial decision to suspend the safety. However, the door is now open for the sophomore to once again wear the cardinal and gold.

Bolden played in 13 games as a freshman, logging eight total tackles while appearing mostly on special teams. He was slated to begin his sophomore year as a starting safety beside Marvell Tell after winning the job in Fall Camp.

His ascension up the depth chart triggered a series of unfortunate events for the Trojans, however, When Bolden was named the starter, veteran safety Ykili Ross, who had been injured for most of camp, refused to finish a practice and ultimately opted to transfer away. By the start of the season, Bolden was suspended, leaving the Trojans without two presumptive starters at safety.

Redshirt freshman Isaiah Pola-Mao ultimately stepped up, but he was injured in Week 2, leading to the promotion of true freshman Talanoa Hufanga. His season-ending injury later in the season was yet another misfortune for the postion, which ended the year with a walk-on true freshman, Jordan McMillan, taking first team reps against Notre Dame.

That turnover at the safety position makes Bolden’s potential return all the more vital for the Trojans going into 2019.

The graduation of Tell was set to leave USC with dire depth in the secondary. Now, the Trojans will have Pola-Mao, Hufanga and Bolden available to compete for two starting jobs, along with C.J. Pollard and converted cornerback Chase Williams.