Reading has always been a strength for Nick Bolton.
When he was a youth, his elementary school had a reading point-based reward system. Not only did he excel in this regard, he dominated as he consistently stood ahead of his classmates. Similarly, as he did in elementary school with his reading program, Bolton has been heads above his conference as a linebacker, since he arrived as a three-star recruit in 2018.
To Bolton, the ability to play at a high level may have come from his father, Carlos Bolton; an accomplished linebacker at Louisiana Tech from 1990 to 1992. Yet, the true motivation to achieve is for his sister, Jazmine Dunn, a once promising high school athlete, whose aspirations to play in college was derailed by a brain tumor which rendered her with a permanent visual disability.
As a linebacker, Bolton was not only one of the elite in his conference, he is arguably the best in the nation at his position. In 2019, he was one the top overall defensive players in the nation. At one point that season, he accumulated 80 tackles in just 8 games. He led the nation that season with 8.95 tackles per game, while contributing 8.5 tackles for loss, seven passes defended, and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. His season earned him numerous honors, including First Team All-SEC and Third-Team All-American honors from Pro Football-Focus.
The early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to many marquee players opting out of the 2020.Many had speculated Bolton would be one of those players, as his historic 2019 season made him a viable NFL Prospect. For Bolton, however, this was never an option, as he cemented himself as one of the most productive defensive players to ever come out of Missouri.
Even with numerous accomplishments, one gets the impression that Bolton is the type of player that is never really satisfied. For a player known for his natural intelligence, he seemingly prides himself on being a student of the game. Perhaps for Bolton, this mentality needed to succeed in the NFL. From what we have seen so far, he may have the right idea.