Bond Taking Next Steps

After getting major reps last season, center Deyshawn Bond is looking to step fully into a leadership role. Bearcat Insider spoke with Bond following a recent practice.

With his sights fully set on being a long term starter for Cincinnati, center Deyshawn Bond is looking to use the experience he earned last season this spring as a springboard towards a solid season on and off the field.

"The development process of getting more experience throughout last year and just coming in this year knowing I had the experience from last year is a major help," said Bond. "This is a great learning process for me and I continue to learn things I didn't know this time last year each day."

What has Bond seen early in spring camp as the biggest change to his game?

"Last year I wasn't really a leader like I wanted to be," he said. "I was a vocal leader because I was at center, but I wasn't a leader by example. This spring, I'm bringing to camp more of a leadership role. Not only am I a vocal leader, but also a leader by example."

The loss of talent across the offensive line from last season is a major cause of concern to Bearcat fans. However, Bond feels things are progressing on track.

"Right now our left tackle is out with a little injury," he explained. "However, he'll be back soon. The guys around me right now we all feel really good around each other. We communicate throughout the day and not just in practice. So it feels great right now getting back in to it with the guys as we've been out for so long that we really hadn't done any football things with each other. So just getting back in to the football process is helping us a lot."

As for what he's been working on, Bond knows the game is more than just physical along the trenches.

"My main goal coming in was to make sure I was on all of my mental assignments," he said. "Last year, I had some mental communication problems and this year I wanted to make sure I'm mentally prepared as well as being prepared physically.

"Coach (Joe) Walker has done a great job of getting us together in the weight room and building our strength up. Now that I've got my strength built, I'll continue to build on it but want to build my mental game more."

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