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Thursday, July 25, 2013
Four-star safety Bonney clears things up

By William Wilkerson

With 32 offers, four-star prospect John Bonney (Houston/Lamar) is one of the most sought-after safeties in the country. But Texas and Baylor have long been rumored as the teams to beat.

Some have said the Bears, especially lately, have crept into "favorite" position with the No. 21 safety in the country. Bonney, however, said that is not the case.

John Bonney
John Bonney hasn't publicly announced his list of favorites, but Texas and Baylor are recruiting the four-star safety hard.
“A lot of people have been asking me that same question this week,” Bonney said. “I guess someone on the Internet said my top two were Baylor and Texas. I don’t know where he got that from. I like both Baylor and Texas. I haven’t put out a top list right now.”

When that will happen is anyone’s guess, but it’s going to have to happen sooner than later considering the 6-foot, 182-pound Bonney would like to make his decision before the season begins.

“I know for sure that I will commit sometime before the season,” he said. “I just don’t know for sure where it’s going to be. There are multiple schools that I am thinking of. I have a lot of offers so I’ll narrow the list down from there.”

Texas will surely be in the conversation. The Longhorns have been in it all along in large part to defensive backs coach Duane Akina and his ability to relate to Bonney on a personal level.

“I really like Coach Akina and what he does, and his track record,” Bonney said. “Being able to play with him would be great. Whenever I get a chance to talk to Akina we might not even talk about football. We talk about regular stuff.”

Being able to have that bond with his position coach is going to factor in greatly to Bonney’s decision.

“That’s great because it is all about the people in the building,” he said. “You always here people talking about the big stadium and stuff. But we don’t look at that stuff. We look at the people inside the building.”

Bonney said that one of the things that Akina really likes about his game is his ability to play both safety and corner.

“He came to a game of mine where I played both corner and safety,” he said. “He got to see up close and personal how I can play.”

Akina has seen a lot of safeties play up close this recruiting cycle since Texas has offered seven of them. The prospects most often associated with the Longhorns are Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie), Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) and Jason Hall (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie). They appear to be in good shape with Freeman and Hall and not as good of shape with Adams, though he did list Texas in his top four on Monday along with Ole Miss, Florida and Texas A&M.

Texas casting a wide net to find its safeties in this class has admittedly deterred Bonney a bit. But he’s overlooking that at this point in the process.

“It factors in but right now I am not worried about all of that,” he said. “I want to go where the best fit for me is no matter what or who goes there. In the end you are going to have to compete wherever you go.”

Bonney said he is in constant contact with the Longhorns. But he’s also in frequent communication with Baylor.

“I like the coaching staff. They were one of the first big teams to offer me,” Bonney said of the Bears. “That was a big deal to me. [Baylor head] Coach [Art] Briles. I’m from Houston so I am familiar with him back when he was with Houston. We built a relationship then when I would go work out at UH. That’s the main thing I like about Baylor.”

Bonney isn't sure if he'll take any more visits at this point. Texas, of course, would love to see him at the Texas Stampede on July 27. But he's familiar with the campus already from prior visits as a recruit and childhood memories of coming to Texas games.