Curtis Former NFL Scout Takes the Blind Tape Test | Linebackers (Part 2)

Image from The Press Enterprise ( (Photographer: Terry Pierson)

In this edition of the blind tape test we asked Chris Trulove, former NFL scout and coordinator of pro scouting for the Denver Broncos to take a look at LBs: Jonathan Thomas (OU offer), Jonathan Willis (Oregon State commit out of Tulsa Washington) and Curtis Bolton (OU commit).

In part 1 we gave you Chris’ scouting report and evaluation grade for Jonathan Thomas and Jonathan Willis. In this second part we will give you Chris’ report on Curtis Bolton. We wanted to save the results of this blind tape test for a separate post because Curtis received the highest rating given to date.

What is the Blind Tape Test? The Blind Tape Test (like the blind taste test that was popular in the 80s with Coke and Pepsi) is where we give a former player or scout film to watch on certain high school recruits that Oklahoma may be interested in and we ask them to give us an evaluation of those players. We do not give the evaluator any information about the players in terms of their offers or recruiting background or anything of the sort. In fact we don’t even tell them what state they are from or what school they play for. They know little more than the size of the player. It’s all about the tape and what they see. We don’t offer our thoughts on the player prior to them viewing the tape. Our goal with these are to continue giving our readers the opinion of football guys on football players.

Previous Results: Here we’re Mossis Madu’s results for running backs - Here are the previous results for Chris’ evaluation of OLinemen - And the results from Chris’ evaluation of Willis and Thomas -

Summary of Previous Grades:

Nathan Starks – 3.7

Joe Mixon – 3.8

Michael Warren – 3.9

Jonathan Alvarez – 3.3

Alex Dalton – 3.7

Demetrius Knox – 3.8

Jordan Sims – 3.9

Jonathan Thomas – 3.3

Jonathan Willis – 3.5

As you can see, in the short time we’ve been offering this feature no one has cracked the 4.0 mark. Curtis Bolton is the first. Here is Chris Trulove’s scouting report on Oklahoma LB commit Curtis Bolton:

Curtis Bolton – Smart and nasty.  Bolton has good size, very good athletic ability, great instincts, and great tenacity.  Has very good quickness at the snap with a fantastic swim move to either direction.  Very disruptive shooting gaps and wreaking havoc in the backfield vs run or pass.  He finds the ball quickly and is a nasty face up tackler with strength.  He has excellent chase effort from behind and downfield.  He plays like he loves the game and LOVES DEFENSE.  He is smart picking up backs out of the backfield and playing screens.  Has mostly played on the LOS but has shown good read and react ability when in certain “stacked” alignments.  Once he diagnoses, he attacks and really brings the wood.  He has good speed and he’s agile in space as well, though his greatest assets are his high level of instincts and effort.  He has good upper body strength to separate and shed blockers at the point of attack and this will only improve as he gets bigger in college.  While he will be a good pass rusher at the next level, he will have the ability to be a lot more than a situational player.  He has the tools to play early and often.   GRADE: 4.2


  • CoachStauder

    Can you please hide this eval from the USC staff? Thanks.

    • ToatsMcGoats

      That’s exactly what I was thinking!!

    • hOUligan

      My thoughts, exactly, as he has talked about his desire for an offer. Just hope OU can hold on to this young man. From reading a few of his tweets he sounds excited and solid to OU otherwise.

  • Michael Pendley

    He will be a lethal pass rusher for Mike Stoops..

  • Billy Jackson

    I would have rated him a 4 simply by looking at him and seeing the spitting image of Tex Cobb.

  • Ed Cotter

    Bolton plays a lot like Striker does now. on the LOS and gets after the QB. Watched a couple games and very rarely did I see him not on the LOS. Seems like more of a rush end than an LB, but does a nice job of getting to the ball. Teams had to game plan for him. Against Centennial in the CIF So. Sec. Championship he was getting blocked by at least two guys, and still made plays. And he does bring the wood.

    • ChickenWingKing

      Yes he plays like Stiker. Except he is bigger ;)

  • bmrsnr

    Anyone know how big he really is? For awhile his twiter picture was of him and Kish, and he looked about the same height as Kish, so I’m guessing around 6’0?

    • ToatsMcGoats

      His Hudl profile lists him as 6’2 220.

    • Mitch Callahan

      Hes right around 6’0″, maybe 6’1″.

  • JD

    He’ll be a nice replacement to Striker…this is how you reload rather than grab guys that can fit the scheme and make em stars

  • Kdubracing

    Hopefully he can be the next Rocky Calmus for us. I LOVED watching Rocky play. He was all over the field at 135 mph all the time. It sounds like he has the tools to be an AA before he’s done here.

  • pitbull17

    Wow! go to hudl or some other recruiting site and look at this kids film if you haven’t seen it. After reading what Truelove had to say I had to see some film. Based on Trueloves evaluation this kid could be special. I don’t know half of what Truelove does and I can see that this kid is talented. Hope he ends up at OU!

    • boomersooner

      right! no offense to anyone here, but this an nfl scout. this would also be the highest grade given on this site. boomer sooner and merry christmas

  • Alexander

    It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

  • ChickenWingKing

    Kids a gamer. Severely underrated. Vista Murietta is known for producing football stars. I believe Gerhert plays there.

    • Ed Cotter

      Yes, Colton Gerhart was their QB. He transferred there after his dad’s contract was not renewed at Norco High. Safety Sua Cravens, who we lost out on to USC went there as well.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    Wow, I’m really excited for this kid! Now I definitely don’t want to lose him to USC, whom I despise. I always look forward to checking what’s new on this site, and it really just gave me some good news on my otherwise disastrous Christmas, so thanks to you guys and Chris for doing this.

  • Jesse Wall

    Good write up, couldn’t agree more

  • Indy_sooner

    Both Bolton and Todd have been actively recruiting Mixon for us on twitter. I feel good about where we stand with this cat and not at all worried about USC. Can’t wait for these guys to bring that nasty in 14′