Juran Bolden - Defensive Back - 1995, 2000-01, 07 - Mississippi Delta C.C.
Juran Bolden was arguably the most instinctive and dominant cornerback in the CFL over his two seasons with Winnipeg in 2000 and 2001.
Juran Bolden first joined Winnipeg in 1995 as a 20 year old underage rookie out of Mississippi Delta Junior College. The rangy 6'2, 210lb defender was a terror on defence for Winnipeg with six interceptions in 9 games. The spectacular season was not overlooked by the NFL and he went on to be drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round (127th overall) in the 1996 NFL draft. He spent 3 season with Atlanta mostly on special teams before moving on to Green Bay, Carolina and Kansas City. Following the 1999 season Juran was cut by Kansas City and returned North to Winnipeg.
In 2000 he made an impact on defence with Winnipeg as he managed four interceptions and two blocked punts in 14 appearances as Winnipeg turned the corner towards respectability with a 7-11 record. The Bombers upset Hamilton in the Eastern Semi-Final 22-20 at Ivor Wynne Stadium and advanced to the Eastern Final versus Montreal. The Alouettes defeated Winnipeg in the Eastern Final 35-24 but the groundwork was laid for a successful season for Bomber fans in 2002.
Bolden emerged as a dominating CFL all-star in 2001 with 61 tackles, 10 knockdowns and a team-high six interceptions, including one for a touchdown. The highlight of the season for Bomber fans and for Bolden came in the Eastern Final at Winnipeg Stadium in front of over 29,000 fans. Bolden put the exclamation mark on the Bombers 28-13 victory over Hamilton with a 54 yard interception return for a touchdown with 13 seconds remaining to punch Winnipeg's Grey Cup ticket to Montreal.
Winnipeg finished the season a league-best 14-4 regular season and a berth in the 89th Grey Cup at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Winnipeg was upset 27-19 by the Calgary Stampeders in the Grey Cup that would be Juran's final game in the CFL. Following the 2001 season Bolden moved on from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers back to the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons.
He started 14 games for Atlanta in 2002 and had 4 interceptions. Juran went on to become a solid NFL defender and despite some off-field legal problems he has carried his experience in the CFL well. Bolden returned to Winnipeg in 2007 to conclude his playing career he contributed 1 interception in 5 games.
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