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Bolles gives back with free youth football camp



On June 24 at Skyridge High School, Denver Broncos offensive tackle Garett Bolles, in collaboration with the GB3 Foundation, held a youth football camp free to kids entering third through eighth grade in his hometown of Lehi. 

There were over 200 campers who attended the one-day camp which ran from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Campers ran through drills, played mini games, and learned fundamental football techniques. The camp was followed up with an autograph session and a dinner. All campers received a shirt and had the opportunity to be on the field and learn from Bolles. 

Bolles, the 2024 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner, was formerly a standout offensive lineman at Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs, Utah. He played college football at Snow College (2014–2015) and University of Utah (2016) before being selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. His career highlights include being named second-team All-Pro (2020) and PFWA All-Rookie Team (2017). He has been with the Denver Broncos since 2017. 

Bolles’ success story did not come easily. He was kicked out of or suspended from five different schools. His youth was filled with drugs, alcohol, violence and gang life. When he was 19, his dad kicked him out of his Lehi home. This was his turning point. 

Greg Freeman found Bolles on a street corner with two duffel bags, and he and his wife, Emily took him in. The Freemans, along with many from their neighborhood, helped tutor and mentor Bolles. The Freemans set firm boundaries for Bolles and helped to fill his life with love and spirituality. They also encouraged him to take care of his physical and mental health. Bolles eventually served an LDS mission. Although he played football well in high school, he never received any offers to play at the collegiate level. After his mission, Bolles enrolled at Snow College and thrived. He played successfully and, after two years at Snow, he transferred to the University of Utah as the No. 1 overall junior college prospect in 2016. He played one season with the Utes and exceeded all expectations. He was named to the All-Pac-12 Conference first-team and he started all 13 games at left tackle. After the season, he decided to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft, where he was selected by the Denver Broncos. Bolles is proof of what the power of love and second chances can do. 

This once-troubled kid who got a second chance at life, that focused on who he could become, is passionate about giving back to children and young teens. The GB3 Foundation was founded by Bolles and his family in 2022. Its mission is to empower youth with learning disabilities to find success and live their dreams through mentorship in educational strategy, mental and spiritual well-being, whole body nutrition, and physical health for the purpose of equipping them to live their dream. 

“If I can help do this for kids, then I, too, will feel successful,” said Bolles. 

Bolles is passionate about the success of GB3 and felt excited to return to Utah County.


“It feels great to be back home. It is always good to give back to kids in this community. There are so many kids and so many youth football players that are looking to be mentored and looking for positive examples and I hope to provide that for them,” said Bolles.

“I used to be that kid that always looked up to the athletes who came out of Utah and played at a higher level, and now I’m an athlete coming back to my hometown where it all started for me. To give back to the kids here means everything to me,” he continued.

Bolles added, “All kids need to know is that they are loved. Being loved goes a long way. I believe that there are many kids in this community that need to feel loved and feel valued. You never know who that kid may be. It can be someone who lives just down the street, or it can be your next-door neighbor. Many kids just need a smile or extra support. I was that kid, and having the opportunity to come back home and give my support and let these kids know they are loved is meaningful for me. Sometimes just letting kids know that they can do something with their life and be successful despite their challenges can make a difference.”

Bolles knows this is true because he felt loved and supported by the Freeman family as they gave him a second chance. 

“I hope I can be the motivational factor for others to open a new path and overcome challenges. I feel as if God has given me the opportunity to bless these kids and has allowed me to use my talents to provide the motivation for them to become better, and for this, I am grateful,” said Bolles. 

This was year five of the youth camp and Bolles felt it was a huge success. The sponsors’ support helps to drive the GB3 initiatives forward. Bolles prioritizes the foundation and feels accomplished when giving back to the community. 

“The greatest accomplishment for me through GB3 is that if I could change just one kid’s life a day, that would be a dream come true and that would be real success. Because with the adversarial world and kids that are trying to find their way and discover who they are in school and in sports, or with extracurricular activities or in whatever they do, just giving them the motivation of ‘what is your why’ and helping them understand who they are is valuable. Helping them to understand their value will allow them to live their dreams,” said Bolles. 

Bolles hopes that the youth camps and the GB3 Foundation will be pivotal for youth in achieving their dreams. 


“I believe that you can become anything when you believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter that you may not be the most intelligent person or you may not be the best with your hands or your feet. However, if you have the determination and the heart and strength, nothing can break you. That is when success comes and allows you to overcome your challenges and turns your weaknesses into strengths. That is when your dreams come true,” said Bolles. 

In regard to the quarterback situation in Denver, Bolles feels confident that the Broncos will be successful this season. 

“Bo Nix is a phenomenal player. He’s really doing great. We’ve got Jarrett Stidham, he’s also great. He helped us last year in the last few games. We’ve also got Zach Wilson, a talented Utah athlete from Corner Canyon who works hard. All three can provide a way for us to be successful as a team. It is exciting to have a rookie and watch him do his thing,” said Bolles. 

“My job is to do whatever I can to keep them fresh, and if I do my job and provide them with the ability to see the defense unravel and give them time to pick out the receivers, we will perform well, but only as long as the five up-front do our jobs,” he added.

Both on and off the field, Bolles strives for excellence and desires to motivate youth to do the same. That is why he’s passionate about paying it forward by mentoring youth. This once-troubled kid’s story is a message filled with hope and second chances.

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