Corey Bolds announced his intention to transfer out of Penn State in June. The defensive tackle, who spent this season with a junior college football program, detailed what went into that decision for a story published Tuesday by NJ.com’s Todderick Hunt.
“I just feel like I didn’t sign to Penn State for the right reasons and it just stuck with me while I was there,” Bolds told Hunt. “Every day, I would just think about it and it just kind of stayed with me, basically. But it had nothing to do with the team, school or coaching staff. They were great.”
A member of the Nittany Lions’ 2017 recruiting class, he is now searching for his next FBS landing spot. Bolds currently attends ASA College (Brooklyn, N.Y.), where he saw his first game action since competing at Paramus (N.J.) Catholic High School.
Bolds is listed 6-foot-3, 295 pounds and appeared in four games as a redshirt freshman, according to the ASA team website. He totaled six tackles and 1.5 sacks.
East Carolina extended a scholarship offer in October. Bolds will have three years to play three seasons when he arrives at the university of his choice in 2019.
Bolds, who claimed nearly 20 offers during his prep career, picked Penn State over nearby Rutgers on National Signing Day (February 2017). Based on his latest comments, it was a choice he continued to struggle with internally, even after his enrollment in Happy Valley.
“After I took my official visit (to Penn State in November 2016), my mother fell in love with it,” Bolds said. “If she was going to be happy and comfortable with me being there and I was happy when I took the visit, I thought why not. It wasn’t really my pick. I wanted to stay home but my mom thought I would get more out of the experience getting away from home. And at the end of the day when I’m at school, I wanted her to be happy because she’s gonna be here by herself with my little brother. So I basically just ran with that idea.”
This created a sense of disconnect during his time in State College, according to Bolds.
“When I first got there, I just wasn’t happy,” he said. “Even going through the football season, I would text my mom that I don’t know what it is but I’m just not happy here. I should have gone to Rutgers.”
It remains to be seen if Rutgers is interested enough this time around to present another opportunity. The Scarlet Knights recently secured a commitment from former Paramus Catholic teammate Drew Singleton, a Michigan transfer.
Bolds was one of three defensive tackles in the 2017 PSU recruiting class, alongside fellow New Jersey native Fred Hansard and Damion Barber, who enrolled late after fulfilling academic requirements and transitioned from defensive end. Hansard saw significant action early this fall before suffering a season-ending injury, while Barber made his debut in a deep reserve role. Another redshirt freshman, CJ Thorpe, shifted from offensive guard to defensive tackle midseason.
During his discussion with Hunt, Bolds asserted academics had nothing to do with his transfer, and nor did depth chart concerns.
“When I did my spring exit meeting with (defensive line coach Sean Spencer) — where they tell you where you are on the depth chart and stuff like that — he said he sees me rotating in and playing football on his d-line next season,” Bolds said. “He even had expectations for me to take on a bigger role. So it wasn’t about that. It wasn’t about me being up there and not performing or anything like that.”
“It was my decision to leave,” he continued. “I just felt like I needed a new environment. Just being in the middle of Pennsylvania in the mountains, I just wasn’t happy.”