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Monday, February 25, 2013
Bolton intrigued by USC's defense

By Erik McKinney

While the exact form and function of the USC defense under new defensive coordinator Clandy Pendergast is still something of an unknown quantity, at least one prospect who attended USC's junior day this past weekend is excited for the change.

Playing on a defense that featured Su'a Cravens, defensive end Curtis Bolton was still able to make a big impression during his junior season as he recorded 70 tackles and a team-high 10.5 sacks. Now, the 6-foot, 205-pound defender finds himself on the Trojans' radar.

"I grew up a USC fan and that's always been my dream school," Bolton said. "But as I got older and realized I didn't fit in the defense they ran, I kind of cut them out of my college choices. But with this new defense plan (the 3-4 alignment), they are back in the mix.

"They love the way I rush the quarterback -- it's just that I'm not a 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end. But they struggled a bit on defense last year and they said they realized guys like me can benefit their defense. They're excited to see what I can do."

During the junior day, Bolton spent time with his recruiting contact, offensive line coach James Cregg, as well as defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.

"I'm getting recruited as a linebacker by them, but they put the outside rush guys with the defensive linemen during the day," Bolton said.

Though he is no stranger to the USC campus, having visited for nearly every home game last season, this was the first time he had an opportunity to take a deeper look into the football facilities.

"It was really nice to see the tutoring facilities," Bolton said. "It was great to see how much they do for the football guys academically."

Early on, Bolton is receiving interest from programs such as Arizona State, Boise State, Miami, UCLA and Washington. He attended a junior day with the Huskies earlier this month. This weekend, Bolton will participate in a 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas and said he plans to take a mid-March visit to Boise State.