2009 Intro: Travis Bond

WINDSOR, N.C. --- As an eighth-grader attending a game at NC State, Travis Bond's size easily attracted the attention of the Wolfpack coaching staff. Interest from recruiters continued after his freshman season and increased each ensuing season, peaking this past February.

"Wow, the question is what colleges are not interested," Bertie County head football coach Tony Hoggard said. "I've gotten calls from South Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, East Carolina, Clemson, LSU, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Stanford, Florida State, and Auburn. Those are just legitimate calls – my cell phone has been ringing off the hook. He's also getting tons of literature."

Bond, 6-foot-6, 330-pound offensive lineman, has received scholarship offers thus far from East Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, and South Carolina.

Junior Season Highlights:

"He's aggressive off the ball – run blocking and pass blocking," Hoggard said. "His initial punch slows down most opponents on pass rush. He moves pretty well on the field, but he still has some work to do as far as his footwork."

Hoggard credits basketball, which Bond has played since his sophomore season, with helping to improve Bond's footwork.

"He still has tremendous potential to be a whole lot better than he is at this point in time," Hoggard said. "I think the sky is the limit for him. It's all about how far he wants to go."

In spite of his raw talent, Bond possesses the frame and physical tools of a prototypical left tackle.

"He does a pretty decent job boxing the defender out," Hoggard said. "His long arms and stature, he's got left tackle written all over him."

Believe it or not, Bond was a skill position player throughout his middle school career playing quarterback, tailback, fullback, and wide receiver. As a 6-foot-5 freshman, he arrived at Bertie expecting to play tight end. However, Hoggard threw Bond into the offensive line mix.

"He was the biggest kid out there on the field [while in middle school] so [skilled positions] worked out," Hoggard said. "But I knew when he got here that he was going to be a left tackle. I could see him playing on Saturdays and possibly on Sundays."

Quickly adjusting to the transition, Bond earned the starting left tackle position as a freshman.

"It was kind of easy working on the footwork [for line], because I have footwork since I played all those skill positions," Bond said. "Line is pretty easy. You just have to maintain your blocks and stuff. I wasn't used to blocking, but as long as we win our games, I'm willing to do whatever."

After a year of on-the-job training, Bond became a dominating blocker during his sophomore and junior seasons.

"All I'm going to say is, for the last two years we've been running behind him when we needed a first down," Hoggard said. "He's been my bread and butter."

In 2006, Bertie's runners rushed for 3,421 yards and 41 touchdowns on 445 carries (7.69-yard average). Last year, the Falcons only accumulated 2,074 yards and 26 touchdowns on the ground, but doubled their pass yardage – 1,735 yards.

Hoggard says the majority of the team's runs the last couple of years came off the left side.

"There were times where someone would run untouched 60 or 70 yards for a touchdown running right behind [Bond]," Hoggard said.

Bond began to also start on the defensive line his sophomore season.

"He's not as quick as most defensive linemen are, but he commands a double team just because of his size," Hoggard said. "He's basically an offensive lineman playing defensive end. But in high school, you've got to account for him. One-on-one blocking is not going to get him."

As a sophomore, Bond collected 31 tackles including two sacks. He recorded 35 tackles and two sacks his junior season.

Last summer, Hoggard, a '91 UNC alum who played lineman for the Tar Heels, worked UNC's team camp. He brought Bond along with him for what turned to be the only camp Bond has attended thus far.

During the camp, Bond received an opportunity to work closely with Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach.

"I like the way he showed us the techniques and stuff," Bond said. "He said he liked the way I can move. He said I have my footwork and my fundamentals are down real good."

Bond plans to participate in several camps this summer, including returning to UNC's camp.

He attended East Carolina's Junior Day earlier in the month, and will attend NC State's Junior Day this coming weekend and UNC's Spring Game on April 5th.

Still in the early stages of researching his options, Bond doesn't have a list of favorite schools.

"I like all the schools, but I'm about to start to check out the information about the background of the schools – about the education and stuff," Bond said. "And then I'll go from there."

Bond said at this point he doesn't expect to make a verbal commitment until after his senior season.

Travis Bond Profile

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