Bounce Back ‘Bolt’: Boise State’s wide receiver, Austin Bolt’s journey to The Blue

A lightning bolt on and off the field.

Austin Bolt, Boise State University’s star wide receiver, has returned after suffering a lower leg injury that sidelined him for three years. It had not been the start to his Boise State career that Bolt and many Bronco fans imagined. 

After a stellar high school senior season racking up 2,771 yards and 36 touchdowns, many believed Bolt would immediately contribute on The Blue. 

Three years sitting where he could have been doing something else, Bolt stayed and worked hard to get back on the field. 

From Boise, Idaho, Bolt attended Borah High School, where he quickly made a name for himself as he was rated the number three prospect in the state of Idaho. Bolt was named the 5A All-Idaho team in both football and basketball while attending Borah High.

He was always on the field whether it was to be kicker, kicker returner, punter or quarterback — Bolt was nearly off the field.

Despite his success on the field, Bolt was also a phenomenal basketball player. The Borah Lions star athlete received one of the highest honors being named 2019 Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year for both football and basketball during his senior year of high school. 

His phenomenal high school accolades put him firmly in the conversation for one of the best athletes to ever come out of the state of Idaho.

Deciding what to do in his future was no easy task, however Bolt chose to further his football career and commit to Boise State in 2019. Despite receiving offers from University of Idaho, University of Montana, Montana State University, Utah State University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Bolt chose to stay local.

His commitment was a testament to not only his belief in the program, but also his long standing  childhood dreams of playing on The Blue. 

Bolt, who averaged 19.4 points per game on the hardwood his senior year of high school, had the opportunity to walk onto the Boise State Men’s Basketball team while also on the football team. Most players do not get that kind of opportunity, but Bolt was a man who could not be stopped.

The chance of playing for the basketball team never worked out, but it allowed Bolt to participate in the winter conditioning program for the football team. It was a blessing in disguise as it would have been a major setback in his football career. 

Despite being a multifaceted athlete playing a multitude of roles on his highschool football team, Bolt eventually landed a position as a wide receiver.

Going into the 2022 season it appeared Bolt was ready to play a larger role in the Bronco offense. But that changed in the opening game in Corvallis, Oregon when he suffered a lower leg injury that would sideline him for the rest of the season. 

He would have to wait yet another year to play a significant role for the Broncos. This gave Bolt the strength and courage to work hard to develop into the player he needed to be for the team.

Despite a slow start, with his career stats sitting at zero from 2020 to 2022, Bolt made a triumphant return to the field in 2023, determined to prove himself once again. 

Bolt’s comeback gained momentum against Fresno State University with a 33-yard reception, and his shining moment would come on the biggest stage … the Mountain West Championship.

On one of the biggest stages for the Broncos, Bolt played a pivotal role in the dominant win against University of Nevada Las Vegas, as he caught a well-executed flea flicker orchestrated by Taylen Green that led him to make a 57-yard touchdown. 

That play broke the game open and propelled the Broncos to their first Mountain West Championship win in four seasons. 

In the 2023 season, Bolt racked up six receptions for 175 yards, two touchdowns and a phenomenal 29.2 yards per reception, showing just how determined he was to make a comeback.

With the 2024 season ahead, Bolt will be part of the many talented receivers ready to prove themselves in what is shaping up to be an offense with a lot of horsepower. 

The receiver room features key returners such as Bolt, Latrell Capels and Prince Strachan. With the additions of Indiana Transfer, Cam Camper and former five-star recruit Chris Marshall, there will be plenty of big play opportunities. 

Bronco Nation finally got a taste of what’s to come.

As Bolt looks to the future, it’s clear that his return to the field in 2023 was just the beginning. With his injuries behind him and his determination unwavering, Bolt is poised to make an even greater impact in the upcoming season. 

Boise State Football fans can anticipate an electrifying performance from the resilient and rejuvenated “Bounce Back Bolt” as he continues to leave his mark on the field.

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