Reggie Bonnafon grew up a Kentucky fan. His room is painted blue and Wildcat 'Fatheads' plaster his walls. Despite his allegiance to the Lexington-based program, Bonnafon's first scholarship offer arrived last Friday from hometown Louisville.
Though the talented junior is the backup quarterback from defending state and national champion Trinity, Louisville coach Charlie Strong told Bonnafon last week during a meeting on the UofL campus that he's a 2014 recruiting priority for the Cardinals.
"Coach Vance Bedford messaged me on Facebook and asked me to come up to the complex and I went up there and they sat me down in the office and told me they wanted to extend an offer," Bonnafon told InsideTheVille.com. "They're really high on me and what I can do at quarterback and they wanted to give the offer early."
Bonnafon said he spoke with Strong for 'an hour' last week about Louisville's interest in him. Though other schools are recruiting the 6'1, 190 pound rising junior as a wide receiver or athlete, Strong made clear that Louisville is recruiting him strictly to play QB.
"He was talking how a lot of other schools are looking at me for other positions, but they're only looking at me as a quarterback and that's what they offered me for," said Bonnafon. "He was telling me how he is making the program better all-around and how having me in the program could continue helping the program improve."
As a sophomore reserve behind Travis Wright, Bonnafon threw only eight varsity passes, completing six for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Despite his lack of varsity statistics, Bonnafon proved to the Cardinals he's a big-time talented last summer when he participated in Charlie Strong's camp.
"They said they like my character and the way I've handled the situation being the backup quarterback knowing I could play anywhere else in the state," Bonnafon said. "Seeing me at camp last year showed them that I have the talent to play."
While Bonnafon grew up rooting for Kentucky, the rising junior expressed strong interest in the hometown Cardinals.
"I'm really a big family guy and I don't want to go too far away for school," Bonnafon said. "I really like what they're doing with the program and I'm really interested in the program right now."
Louisville already has a commitment from one of the Bonnafon's teammates, four-star cornerback Ryan White, and the Cardinals are the reported leader for five-star wide receiver James Quick. Bonnafon says White and Quick's college decisions could impact his in the future.
"That plays a pretty big part," Bonnafon said. "Me and Ryan are really close and hang out almost every weekend. Me and James are pretty close too. That might be a big factor."
Bonnafon said he's been impressed with Strong's rebuilding job at Louisville so far.
"I think Louisville is only going up," Bonnafon said. "When [Steve] Kragthorpe was here it was the bottom of the barrel. I think what Coach Strong is doing with the program is putting the city of Louisville back on the map for football."
One day after Louisville's offer, Illinois followed suit. The Illini also are recruiting Bonnafon to play quarterback.
"I told the Illinois coach Saturday morning about the Louisville offer and he was disappointed because he wanted to be the first to offer," Bonnafon said. "They extended me an offer too and want me to come for a visit. We're going to try to get up there later this month or early July."
Bonnafon said he will attend Louisville's camp Saturday and Sunday.
He also said recent reports of a scholarship offer from UAB weren't accurate, to his knowledge.
Speaking of Kentucky, Bonnafon said the Wildcats coaches stop in at Trinity "every once an while, but I'm not really talking to them a lot."