At Vista Murrieta High School in Southern California, Curtis Bolton spent most of his time on the defensive line.
Whether it was defensive end or defensive tackle, Bolton generally had his hand down on the line of scrimmage.
In early November, though, Vista Murrieta coach Coley Candaele moved him to linebacker for a bit when his team played Temecula Chaparral for the league title.
“He came up and sealed an off-tackle play against another very good running back, picked him up and extended his hips and you're like, ‘Oh, OK,'” Candaele said. “It was amazing what he'd done before, but that play just showed what kind of talent he is.”
He finished that game with 13 tackles in a 41-5 win. It was one of six double-digit tackle games for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Bolton.
He finished the year with 109 tackles--75 solo--13 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, 42 hurries and a pair of forced fumbles.
Bolton will play linebacker at Oklahoma after committing to the Sooners in August.
“I just think he's a football player that can come into college football and contribute in some way,” Candaele said. “He can put his hand down and come off the edge, he can play outside linebacker. I've been doing this for awhile and when you see a kid this kind of caliber, there's no reason why he's not going to be super successful at Oklahoma.”
Practices could sometimes be a challenge with Bolton involved.
“He's one of those kids where you have to tell him to slow down in practice because you can't get anything done on the other side,” Candaele said.
Candaele is reluctant to compare Bolton to any current player, though he has some similarities with Eric Striker.
“It's not fair to any kid to put on a label of where they could be,” Candaele said. “All I know is he's a kid that can step into college football and could have the possibility of having an impact right away. Will that ever happen? That depends on the kid and his character and how he adjusts to college life. But he does have what it takes to jump in and play college football right away.”