Indiana knew they were getting a bright kid.
Bryson Bonds arrived in Bloomington after being named first team academic all-state in Texas as a high school senior, and he was a parliamentarian officer of the National Honor Society.
Of course the Crowley, Texas product can play football too.
Bonds was ranked the No. 51 safety in the 2020 class according to ESPN. He closed out his career with 300 tackles, including 15 for a loss, six interceptions, 30 pass breakups, eight fumble recoveries, six touchdowns and two blocked field goals.
Coming from Texas, head coach Tom Allen expected a kid that was well groomed for high level college football.
“Bryson Bonds at safety has tremendous habits,” Allen said back in August. “If you come from the state of Texas, sometimes that is expected because they play so much football. They do so many things that has a collegiate structure to it from a high school perspective. He has brought all of that with him.”
That was two months ago. Since then, Bonds has continued to raise the bar.
In fact, it has been a while since defensive coordinator Kane Wommack has seen a true freshman come in and make such an impression.
“The one that strikes me as much as any freshman that I’ve seen in a number of years is Bryson Bonds, Wommack said when asked about freshmen that were standing out at fall camp.
“A guy that was a very good player in high school, disciplined player, but to just come in with such a professional mindset.”
The 6-foot-1 and 200 pound Bonds is an information systems major at IU. He puts that analytical mind to use both in the classroom and on the football field.
“He’s so locked in, he’s a smart guy,” Wommack said. “You teach him something, the next day he understands it, the third day he anticipates it. For a freshman to come in and do that multiple times, over-and-over again in these first ten practices has been really exciting.”
A freshman that brings those kind of superlatives out of the coaches was probably going to see the field no matter what.
But early injuries in the IU secondary make that a near certainty now for Bonds.
“He’ll certainly have a role in our travel squad and he’ll be playing this season, which is exciting, because when you have guys like (injured) Marcelino (Ball) and Raheem (Layne), you’ve gotta have some young guys that are up-and-coming,” Wommack said. “Really excited about him.”
Allen echoed those sentiments.
“It’s going to give a guy like Bryson Bonds a chance to play more snaps,” Allen said after the injuries to Ball and Layne in the secondary. “He’s a guy that we’ve been extremely impressed with.”
Of course it is more than just brains with Bonds.
If he is going to see the field as a true freshman, Bonds must have the physical gifts too.
In addition to his prowess on the football field, Bonds was a four-year track and field letter winner in high school.
His new head coach sees the complete package.
“His practice habits, his effort, he is a very good athlete, and I have been really impressed with him,” Allen said.
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