Back On The Saddle

Chris Bonds gets his knee braces today, and the 6-foot-4, 275-pound four-star defensive end from Richland Northeast High in Columbia, S.C., is stoked about the start of spring football.

It's been awhile since he's been able to strap it up.

Chris Bonds' junior football season came to a premature end, when he tore his ACL in the 10th game of the season.

"I'm excited," Bonds stated. "I know I should be good by the first game. I got back to squatting (Monday). I squatted 295, 300. My strength is coming back and everything. The agility drills and everything, I should start that next week and see where I'm at."

Before going down, Bonds had 70 tackles and five sacks, proving himself as one of the most disruptive players in the country.

Even though Bonds wasn't able to participate in physical football-related activities, he's had a lot to deal with on the recruiting front. He is currently sporting over 20 scholarship offers from some of the nation's best programs like USC, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Miami, Michigan and Notre Dame.

The Irish coaching staff is trying to make it clear to Bonds how much they want and need him. Defensive coordinator Corwin Brown was the first coach to get Bonds on the phone during the current evaluation period, and he was the first coach to step foot inside Bonds' school.

"Coach Brown emphasized a lot that I could come up there and make a difference," Bonds said, adding that he is open right now. "I told him how much I like Dallas and pro teams that run the 3-4, so I'm liking what Notre Dame does with their defense. He was emphasizing what I could come up there and do for team.

"He told me to open the lines of communication for him and everyone else." Bonds then called Brown a couple days ago. "I told him I would try, but for the most part I don't like to call coaches that much. This is like the only time I will get to myself before they can call me while I'm in the bathroom, eating dinner, hanging out with friends, sleeping and doing homework.

"He basically stressed it's not all about football. He wants to get to know me as a person, and to give him a call and let me know what's up with me, and he will let me know what's up with him and the school. And he stressed he wants to be my friend first."

When Brown reached Bonds on the phone a couple weeks ago, he put head coach Charlie Weis on the phone.

"He was just saying that with how they run their 3-4, and how athletic I am, it would be real easy for me to not only be the end on either side, but sometimes be an outside linebacker," Bonds recapped. "He told me that they have somebody graduating this year and one graduation last year or something, so the depth isn't what they want it to be. That's what he emphasized and just how good I would be if I came up there."

Bonds, who is from the same high school as Notre Dame sophomore Gary Gray, has never stepped foot on the Irish campus before. He has taken trips to South Carolina, USC, Virginia, Alabama and Georgia.

"I definitely want to visit Notre Dame and Michigan," Bonds stated. "I'm very anxious to visit. It's kind of like my dream to see those two schools. I don't know when, maybe sometime during the season or after. I'm taking this one day at a time, but whenever it's possible. Notre Dame will probably be the first one I want to go see, and then Michigan too."

Bonds also added that USC will be an official visit.

"I can't figure out the last two," he said of his five allowed official visits.

Brown told Bonds he will soon be making a return trip to the school, possibly bringing defensive line coach Jappy Oliver with him.

Bonds doesn't plan on making a college commitment for awhile. Top Stories