Commitment Analysis: John Bonney

Thursday night, Texas landed four-star Houston Lamar talent John Bonney. But what does the commitment of Scout.com's No. 9 safety mean for the Longhorns?

John Bonney is an outstanding fit for the Longhorns' system. For years, Duane Akina has built his Texas secondary largely around 6-foot tall guys who can cover, hit and play versatile football, and Bonney certainly fits that mold. It's amazing that, in a Houston Lamar secondary that includes big-time prospects in 2014 corner John Plattenburg and 2015 cornerback Holton Hill, Bonney is the Redskins' most valuable and indispensable defensive back piece. Bonney lines up everywhere, from cornerback to nickel back to safety and does a lot of everything. That's made possible by Bonney's best attribute: his outstanding football IQ.

In fact, while Bonney flashes the ability to come downhill as a run-stopper, and while he excels as a cover man, Bonney's main talent is his instinctual play, which makes him an ideal fit for the Longhorns' free safety spot. Put Bonney as your defense's last line, and you're getting somebody who is a sure tackler and who can make plays hash-to-hash through a combination of good speed and the outstanding jump on the ball he gets from diagnosing plays like a veteran.

But the value in Bonney for the Longhorns lies in his versatility. Much like fellow Texas commitment Jason Hall, Bonney could plug into multiple secondary spots as needed, including the incredibly essential nickel back spot. Texas has thrived in recent years by putting players like Aaron Williams, Kenny Vaccaro and now Quandre Diggs in that spot, all players who are football players above all else. And either Bonney or Hall, should they move down from safety, could provide that valuable component.

It also represents a bit of recruiting momentum shifting toward the Longhorns. While of course, rankings aren't everything, Texas went from Feb. 11 (the day after landing Cameron Hampton) until June 27 (the day Texas landed four-star Armanti Foreman) without bringing in a four-star prospect, per Scout.com. Overall, from Feb. 11 until mid-August, Texas only landed one four-star caliber prospect (Foreman). Now, in the past two to three weeks, Texas has landed two in Newton running back Kevin Shorter and Bonney. And even if rankings aren't your thing, Texas brought in one of the most highly recruited safeties left in the country; a player with a bevy of major offers.

The commitment is Texas's second safety commitment and third in the defensive backfield, though the Longhorns still have some key targets at those spots remaining, including the state's No. 1 player in Tony Brown, the country's No. 2 safety in Jamal Adams and No. 9 cornerback Nick Watkins. Edwin Freeman, ranked as the No. 13 outside linebacker in the country, is another potential secondary player.

Bonney makes commitment No. 24 in the Texas class. The Longhorns are expected to sign more than the 25-man limit, with at least three Texas commitments anticipated as early enrollees.


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