Bonds talks the latest
Bonds, who lives just minutes from the South Carolina campus, made the short drive to Williams-Brice stadium ten days ago to take in USC's Gamecock Showcase Camp and said he enjoyed hanging out with the other top South Carolina stars in attendance.
"It was nice," Bonds said. "It was good to see most of these kids like Damario [Jeffery] and Justin [Anderson] again because we were up here on (High School Sports Report) media day, so it (was) good to be back out here around competing and stuff."
Bonds has developed solid relationships with the other top players in the state, both on the field and off.
"Kelcy [Quarles], Damario and Justin, these are kids that I might have to play against," Bonds said. "For the most part, most of these guys are out here to compete and I am too, but these are my peers. These are people that are going through the same things I'm going through, some of them on a smaller scale, some of them on a bigger scale."
Bonds recently sat down with his family and planned out a rough schedule for when he will take official visits this fall.
"I think the first one I'm going to go to is Notre Dame versus Michigan, that's Sept. 13 or something like that," Bonds said. "Then UT plays Bama. Then [I'll] maybe go see Bama play Auburn. Then I'll go visit Michigan in the offseason and Southern Cal in the offseason."
Bonds says of those visits the only one set in stone right now is the Notre Dame versus Michigan showdown.
One team noticeably absent from the list of official visits is the hometown South Carolina Gamecocks. Even though Bonds doesn't plan an official to USC, he will take in multiple unofficial visits at Gamecock home games this fall.
"If it's not one of those dates, if everything plays out, I'm definitely going to be up here," Bonds said. "It's downtown, it's a short drive, and there's nothing pretty much better to do in Columbia on Saturday."
Bonds does not claim a leader, but says he is looking the hardest at Tennessee, Alabama, Southern Cal, Michigan, Notre Dame and South Carolina.
The versatile lineman says he is "definitely" still looking very hard at the Gamecocks.
"Being out here, being in the stadium is always nice," Bonds said. "Playing here my freshman year in the state championship game, even though we got drug around the field, it was nice to be out here. It was nice to play in a real stadium. In high school you have a field and some bleachers on each side. When you step foot in here you get a really good idea of how it's going to be on the next level. Plus, it's my hometown; I've lived here for the last couple of years."
The 4-star defensive end will work to really narrow his schools of choice down after he takes his official visits, but says he is still not sure about a commitment timetable.
"I kind of want to get it out of the way, but I'm waiting to visit," Bonds said. "I'm trying to see what's out there like with Michigan and Notre Dame. I've seen Southern Cal; I've seen here, Georgia, Bama, UT and stuff like that. I wanted to do it in January to give me that full month and let everything sink in and make sure that's where I want to go. But the way it's pointing out, I've got the Shrine Bowl, and I don't know about the Army Bowl I haven't heard back from them. I'm thinking about not going to the Army Bowl [to take time to make a decision]."
Bonds is rated the No. 17 defensive end in the nation according to Scout.com. He racked up 70 tackles and five sacks last season, before an ACL injury shortened his season.
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