Georgia locked up the No. 1 recruiting class in the class of 2024 with a late flip (from Florida State) of consensus 5-star KJ Bolden out of in-state powerhouse Buford High School. Bolden announced the flip at his school's signing day ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, the first day of the three-day Early Signing Period.
The 6'1, 185 pound safety ranks as a consensus five-star according to every major recruiting service. He is also the consensus No. 1 safety recruit in the class and is a top 17 overall player in the class according to every service.
5-star S KJ Bolden flips from Florida State to Georgia
Bolden plays both ways for Buford, playing safety on defense (which is where he'll very likely play at the next level) and Wide Receiver on offense. Bolden also runs track at Buford. Bolden has very high upside, but is still a fairly young player who will have to develop some. While he'll need some refining, he is definitely a player that Georgia will love to get into the fold with a strong mix of athleticism and ball-skills.
In his senior year at Buford, Bolden had 33 tackles and 4 interceptions on defense. He also had 30 catches, 663 receiving yards, and 15 offensive TD's (14 receiving, 1 rushing) on offense. He also has potential in the return game with his speed. He had 2 kickoff return scores on the year this past season. Bolden notably had a game this year where he scored 4 TD's in 4 different ways (receiving, rushing, a pick-six, and a kickoff return TD). With his return and big play ability, he could work his way onto the field early.
Bolden had been committed to FSU since August. Both Georgia and Auburn had been making major late pushes for Bolden (with Syracuse (led by former Georgia DB coach Fran Brown) also securing a late official visit), but it was Kirby Smart and the Dawgs who were able to pry Bolden away from the Seminoles on the first day of the Early Signing Period.
Georgia could face some attrition at defensive back this offseason, but Georgia is awaiting decisions on exactly where that will come. The Dawgs know they will return star safety Malaki Starks, but they await draft decisions from safeties Javon Bullard and Tykee Smith. Corner Kamari Lassiter is likely to head to the NFL, but has not announced officially yet.
Bolden joins 27 other signees for Georgia in the class of 2024. Georgia came into the day with the No. 1 class and 27 commits, and the Dawgs were able to quickly lock up all 27 signatures. They then awaiting the decision from Bolden, which went their way. The class now notably features the No. 1 player at three different positions on defense in 5-star LB Justin Williams, 5-star CB Ellis Robinson IV, and now the No. 1 S in 5-star KJ Bolden.
The signing ceremony at Buford was notable, not just for Bolden. It featured 5-star Eddrick Houston who stuck with his commitment and signed with Ohio State despite a late push from Alabama. It also featured star QB Dylan Raiola, who just flipped his commitment from Georgia to Nebraska on Monday. Raiola had officially signed and was announced by Nebraska Wednesday morning, but went through the ceremony with his teammates in the afternoon.