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Broncos’ first-round pick is grateful, excited, ready ‘to work my butt off’

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Garett Bolles couldn’t be happier coming to Denver, a city in which he spent two years on an LDS mission before going back to football.

NCAA Football: Washington at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

If you were unsure about Garett Bolles as the Broncos first-round draft pick, his excitement to be here will most definitely make up for your lack of it.

And his enthusiasm to “work my butt off” could just win you over if you allow it.

Already referring to the Broncos as “we” and “us,” the offensive tackle feels like he is coming home. Having spent his two mission years for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Denver, this city holds a special place in his heart.

“I love Colorado, and I love Denver. It’s very near to my heart because that’s where I served my mission, and I’m just excited to get to work with such a great organization,” Bolles said, adding his admiration for both Pat Bowlen and John Elway. “Now that I’m here and now that I’m a Bronco, it’s just a surreal moment, and I’m so grateful and honored.”

One of the things Bolles is looking forward to most is working with the guys on the opposite side of the line.

“I’m excited to be there and learn as much as I can, and I’m excited to work with guys like Von Miller,” Bolles said, calling No. 58 “so powerful” in his play. “I’m just excited to work with him, learn from him and just have him help me in all aspects of my game, so that when game time comes, I’m ready to help us win.”

Having a rough background with a life on the streets, Bolles knew teams wanted to find out who he really was, if he were different than the troubled teen of his youth. His faith and football - along with his own budding young family - are what he’s about now.

“Everyone here knows my story, and they just want to see the kind of person I am,” Bolles said Thursday after being drafted No. 20 overall. “Faith, family and football is what I stand by and what I will continue to stand by for the rest of my life. That’s what means the most to me, my faith and my family. Football is third on my list. I’m just very grateful because without those two major things in my life I wouldn’t be able to play football.”

And Bolles has every intention of playing that football Week 1 of the regular season.

“I plan to start as soon as possible. That is my goal,” Bolles said. “[The Broncos] drafted me with a high draft pick, so they ... expect me to come in and work hard. That’s what I’m going to do. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but you can count on me to come in and work my butt off. I’m going to earn that spot.”

Whether he becomes the starter or not, Elway said he loves the talent as well as the attitude Bolles is bringing to the offensive line.

“We really like that ability and the explosiveness that he has,” Elway said. “I think he brings a great mentality to that offensive line that needed a jolt. He’s a perfect fit for what we’ve done in free agency and what we’ve brought in.”

In fact, there’s a bit of a comparison between Bolles and current defensive lineman Derek Wolfe. Both have a tenacious mentality when it comes to football.

“[Derek] has become a fantastic player. If Garett follows those footsteps and becomes the player that Derek is, we’ll be very, very happy with that,” Elway said. “We were kind of giggling up there in the draft room. We’ll see how many times those two go against each other. We’re going to need a bell to stop them.”

Having to earn a starting role at Utah after transferring from junior college, Bolles sees this situation the same way.

“I don’t want them to give it to me, I want to earn it,” Bolles added. “I’m going to come in to rookie mini camp, and I’m going to earn my spot. You can count on that. I’m going to come in and work my butt off, get the job done and try to help out our guys up front.”

And he already has a plan for that.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a challenge. You make it as hard as you want. You can either make it easy on yourself or hard,” he said, adding that it’s all about putting in work - taking care of your body, getting strong, learning from guys like Miller, staying out late and watching film.

“Every guy here is good,” he added. “That means you’re good too, and I’ve just got to believe in myself that I know what it takes to be an NFL offensive lineman. That’s what I plan on doing.”

All aboard the Bolles train - IT. IS. ROLLING!

Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the week

Garett Bolles 'grateful' after going from troubled teen to LDS mission to starting Utah Utes lineman | Deseret News
Utah offensive lineman had a troubled life as a teenager, but is grateful for everything he has now.

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