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Omar Bolden will return for senior season

Even though the ASU football team’s season opener is over nine months away, the Sun Devils already have their first victory of 2011.

It came Friday afternoon when First-Team All-Pac-10 cornerback Omar Bolden announced his decision to return to school for his senior season.

“I’m going to take my talents to the next level here at this program and bring that Pac-12 championship back to Tempe,” said Bolden as he unveiled his jersey underneath a button-up dress shirt.

The fourth-year junior had three interceptions along with 52 tackles in 2010.

He also got in the endzone twice, once on a 97-yard kickoff return against Wisconsin and the other on a 66-yard interception return against Southern California.

“This decision was probably one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” Bolden said. “I see myself as an elite athlete, but at the same time it’s not all about me, I want success for this program.”

After the season finale against UA, Bolden began the NFL draft process by sending in his paperwork. He was projected as a third or fourth round pick.

“There were mornings when I would wake up and my stomach would be in knots, because it’s a huge decision to make,” Bolden said. “Some of the fun of the game gets taken out when you go to the next level. It becomes more business.”

Now ASU will have wait for a decision from junior defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, who is still considering his option to enter the draft.

The deadline for underclassman to declare is Jan. 15.

If Guy returns to school, the Sun Devils will bring back 10 starters on both offense and defense.

“Obviously I know we have a lot of guys coming back,” Bolden said. “I’ve built special relationships with the guys on this team. I see them as family. I feel like I started something here and I need to finish it. I feel like we can be very special this upcoming season.”

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