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Wednesday, October 10, 2012
2014 safety John Bonney on the rise

By Sam Khan Jr.

For Houston Lamar safety John Bonney, this year has been a little bit of an adjustment.

The 2014 prospect, who traditionally plays safety, has spent a lot of time at cornerback this year. The transition hasn't been much trouble for the 6-foot, 175-pound prospect -- he has three interceptions in the Redskins' first five games.

"This year is the first year that I've played corner as much as I have," Bonney said. "I've been playing about 60 percent corner and 40 percent safety. I like it. They're putting me on the best guy who is the biggest threat. They'll put me on him and have me be aggressive and go one-on-one."

Before this season even began, Bonney had three offers. Baylor, Houston and SMU were the first to jump into the fray for Bonney, but now, he's hearing from more schools.

LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and TCU have all showed interest in Bonney this season and he has been enjoying the process. His recent unofficial visits to Oklahoma and Texas A&M left Bonney with good impressions.

"That was great," Bonney said of the Oklahoma-Kansas State game. "I got to talk to Mike Stoops and Bob Stoops. They're really good coaches. It was really nice. They took us into a hall and showed us a video of how many championships they've won and everything. That next week they came by the school to talk to me so they've been showing a lot of interest too. As far as the game and the visit, everything was nice."

Oklahoma linebackers coach Tim Kish was the one who stopped by Lamar the next week.

"Coach Kish, he's a nice guy," Bonney said. "He's really nice and pretty cool."

Bonney visited Texas A&M for the Arkansas game and enjoyed the atmosphere that the 12th Man provided.

"I've never been to a game with that much tradition and everything with the yells and all that. There's a lot of tradition at A&M. I got a chance to talk to coach Sumlin after the game and before the game I talked to coach [Larry] Jackson, the strength and conditioning coach, and [running backs] coach Clarence McKinney. He's recruiting me and my area, so I got to talk to him too."

On McKinney, Bonney also has a positive impression.

"He's really cool," he said. "He's a real laid back kind of guy. He seems like a really good coach."

The three schools that have already offered him also have good relationships with Bonney. Baylor head coach Art Briles has long known Bonney's father, Jerry, since both attended Houston in the 1970s, where Briles played football and Jerry Bonney played basketball.

John Bonney said he has talked to many on the Baylor coaching staff.

Because it's close to home and his father is an alumnus, Houston still holds a special place in Bonney's heart as well. Head coach Tony Levine offered Bonney personally and that meant a lot to Bonney.

"I love them to death," Bonney said. "Coach Levine, he's been in my corner the whole way. My dad still really likes UH being an [alumnus] and everything. I still feel the same way about them because it's close to home and everything."

SMU co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jason Phillips was the first to offer Bonney and that means something to Bonney as well.

"Coach Phillips is a great guy," he said. "He was probably one of the first coaches I've seen to come around Lamar. He was the first one to offer me, so he's been great, in my corner always, seeing how I'm doing and everything."

Bonney said he has been in touch with LSU special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and hopes to take in and LSU game soon, perhaps when the Tigers host Alabama. Bonney attended camps this summer at both LSU and Alabama.

"LSU, they came to one of my games," Bonney said. "Coach McGaughey said he'd keep evaluating me after the camps. I'm not sure what game I'm going to but I may try to make it to the LSU-Alabama game. LSU is a school that seems like they like me as well."