The Associated Press has named University of Missouri junior linebacker Nick Bolton a second-team preseason All-American. Bolton is one of three Southeastern Conference players named second-team, with seven SEC student-athletes named to the first team.
Bolton, as a sophomore, burst onto the scene at Mizzou, particularly after the season-ending pectoral injury suffered by starting middle linebacker Cale Garrett. With greater opportunity for playing time, Bolton went on to lead the SEC in tackles, earning first-team all-conference and third-team All-American status. In 12 games last season, Bolton had 7 1/2 tackles for loss and two interceptions, earning SEC Player of the Week honors after a 10-tackle, two-pick game against West Virginia in Week 2.
With the Tigers season opener against Alabama a month away, Bolton appears to be “all in” for playing his junior season, telling reporters on Friday that he hasn’t discussed opting out and is concentrating his efforts on improving his NFL prospects during the 2020 campaign. Bolton will open this season on the watch lists for both the prestigious Nagurski and Butkus awards, given to the top defensive player and linebacker in the country, respectively.
Photo credit – Mizzou Athletics / Columbia, MO