Bonds enjoys visit with UT's Brooks

Tennessee football fans should be glad Chris Bonds’ sister is a fan of the Lady Vols softball team.

The 6-foot-4, 283-pound defensive tackle from Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, S.C., visited Tennessee on Monday and Tuesday while his sister participated in a Lady Vols softball camp.

“She watches Lady Vols softball all the time,” Bonds said. “That’s all we ever hear about is softball, softball. I said, ‘Well shoot, if you’re going (to visit) I might as well go.’ ”

Bonds, who said he actually lived in Knoxville until age 3 or 4, spent most of his time on this campus visit talking with defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks.

Bonds said he and Brooks used Monday to discuss life at UT as a student, not a football player.

Bonds told Brooks he plans to major in mechanical engineering.

That’s when Brooks talked about former UT defensive tackle Darwin Walker, who has had success in the NFL and the engineering field.

“He’s making more money with his engineering degree than on the football field,” Bonds said. “Football is not always Plan A. You have to have a plan for the rest of your life.”

UT certainly has a plan for Bonds on the football field.

Defensive tackle is UT’s highest priority for the 2009 class, which Brooks stressed during their conversation.

“The whole thing was about need,” Bonds said. “(Brooks) said, ‘We need you and we’d like to have you come here if you want to come here. If not, it’s your choice.’ He expressed their need for me and I felt real honored about that.”

Bonds said he was impressed by the way Brooks relates to his players.

Bonds said he spoke with former UT defensive lineman Turk McBride while he visited the Vols’ football complex.

Bonds said McBride talked about the close relationship Brooks keeps with his former players.

“They have that special bond,” Bonds said. “Coach Brooks has that father-like figure on lock.”

Bonds said he’s considering seven schools: UT, South Carolina, Alabama, Southern Cal, Michigan, Notre Dame and Miami.

Bonds said he hopes to trim his list soon, something he’s already attempted.

“Every time I try I always find things about a school I trimmed that I like,” he said. “I’m stuck at seven now.

“My mom keeps telling me to trim it. I know I’m going to have to in the end but it’s hard.”

Bonds said he doesn’t plan to visit anymore schools this summer.

He’s spent his offseason recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he injured during his junior season.

Bonds said he plans to spend the rest of his summer strengthening his knee, which he said if fully healed.

“I’ve gotten most of my strength and speed back,” he said. “I want to stay here to continue my weightlifting.”

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Comments » 54

LadyVolsEighTimes writes:

I'll take him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would be a good option.

IBleedOrange444 writes:

Come on down young man. Tennessee's got everything you're looking for in a school. You won't regret it.

cobbwebb writes:

we like lady vol softball too. and defensive tackles as well. u would look good in orange buddy

Colliervol writes:

IBleedOrange, you are absolutely correct. UT does have everything he should be looking for...including lots of playing time if he's a legit DT.

BSweet writes:

Not trying to be negative or stir anything up, but what's the rule for contact between former players and recruits? Was any NCAA rule violated by him talking to Turk? I only ask because I seem to remember some controversy a few years back when Deuce McCallister talked to an Ole Miss recruit. Anybody know?

FishTacos writes:


I was just about to post the same thing. I was under the impression that recruits weren't supposed to have contact with former players. I believe this got UCONN in trouble for this with their womens basketball program. These people that write these articles should know NCAA rules before posting incriminating articles.

ctownvol writes:

Glad to hear this young man seems to be interested in the student part of being a student-athlete. C'mon to Knoxville and get an education on and off the field!

cobbwebb writes:

oh did he say turk mcbride he meant to say dan williams yeah dan williams!

VolPride_13 writes:

C'mon Chris, it already sounds like your sister is a Vol, why don't you commit along with your sister?

IceVol writes:

I'll take any kid with the character to take on football and a real curriculum at the same time.

cjraney writes:

Any football player who wants an engineering degree is a keeper IMO. Become a Vol Mr. Bonds.

FWBVol writes:

Hey guys, I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that McBride (any NFL player from any school) could not initiate contact with Bonds(or another prospect), say in the way of a phone call, or whatever. However, if a prospect happens to meet the NFL guy while on a visit theres nothing that prohibits the former player from answering questions and talking informally with a kid.

budd#207344 writes:

Next time you're thinking of skipping over an article on one of the "other " sports, remember this article. Because of the fine job done by the Weeklys in softball we have a shot at a fine student athlete that plays exactly the position we need. And he will contribute to the graduation rate. The kind of student athletes we should be looking for all the time. Thanks to Lady Vols Softball!!!

ronbliss writes:

I once saw Chris Bonds hit a baseball over the moon. His twin brother, Barry, is the all-time leading homerun hitter in major league history.
I also once witnessed his sister hit a softball over the sun.
Her, fraternal twin, Barry is currently unemployed in the MLB.
I witnessed the talk between Chris and Turk McBrizzle. Since he was not on an official visit, the rules state this: Bonds, Chris Bonds. Shaken, not stizzered.

MrBamSeydu writes:

ronbliss: Never do that again

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Wear the Orange, son, wear the Rocky Top Orange.

cobbwebb writes:

ronbliss straight broke us off a lil sumpin sumpin.

FWBVol writes:

CitizenWatchdog, I'm as much a Volunteer as anyone having worked as student assistant in UT's Sports Information Department, but it's not the job of the KNS to follow the NCAA rules. That job falls onto the coaching staff.

I find it hard to believe that McBride was in the complex and the coaches didn't know about it. Most of the time on these visits the kids are pretty much escorted from one place to another and the contact with McBride would have been common knowledge.

With all the former college football players in the pros that frequent their former schools and work out when on campus, it's hard to imagine these kind of encounters don't happen on a regular basis.

As long as Turk, or some other athlete has casual contact with a recruit in the course of every day situations there shouldn't be a violation. If it is, they'll have to keep all former players in the pros or that were in the pros from ever visiting their old schools.

ThaiVolFan writes:

thanks for clearing things up.
forget yemmusdarb...come back anytime!

givehim6 writes:

Hope coach brooks can haul him in, Brooks is the closet thing we got to a Def. recruiter UT has. I think this issue that needs looked at. GO VOLS!

FishTacos writes:


Thanks for clearing that up. When I see articles posted that raise red flags as this one did I cringe. Just didn't want iam4ua to see it. Hopefully Turk was just in the complex working out.

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

Remember the old Grey Poupon commercials where the fella would wheel up in a rolls royce and ask for some mustard?

"Pawden me. Would you mind breaking off a little sumpin sumpin?"

"But of course."

It went like that right?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Has any freshman DT ever made All SEC?

Would be rare, but just curious.

VOLinDAWGland writes:

I don't think we're looking for any starters this year. We need prospects this year to groom to step into the rotation next year and beyond. Of course if we had some injuries, might need a young stud to play sooner than later.

richvol writes:

A rare find this one...a kid big enough and tough enough to play DT yet smart enough to major in mechanical engineering. If he turns out like Darwin Walker he would be a great catch.

Tennessee needs young men like this, not just for their size, but for their GPA and leadership they can provide to others in the classroom. I sure hopes he picks UT. It looks like Coach Brooks laid a good foundation with him.

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Why am I not surprised Chavis didn't talk to him?

Clawson & Co (offense) - 11 recruits
Chavis and the ol' mustache group - 0 recruits

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Ron Bliss...stick to

ctownvol writes:

iam4ua- Why would he pick Aladummer when all their fans are over here on a UT message board? Idiot

VOLS85 writes:

Our brigade is far too busy giving mustache rides...

Recruiting doesn't start for them until august...

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Congrats to DaddyVol...make sure you hold em back a year to get bigger for frosh tryouts.

thesavageorange writes:

The thing not mentioned in this article is that Bonds mom will have a huge impact on his decision.His mom actually sold hot dogs inside Neyland and always dreamed of Bonds wearing orange.He said deep down she wants him to choose Tennessee and that he is doing this for her.His official will be the Alabama game weekend, and he stated he liked UT & Alabama over UGA & VA.

DaddyVol ,congrats!

RJ_Vol writes:

Here is the rule opined about above taken from the official NCAA bylaw page...

NCAA Division I Bylaw (g): Unavoidable Incidental Contact. An unavoidable incidental contact made with a prospective student-athlete by representatives of the institution's athletics interests, provided the contact is not prearranged by the representative or an athletics department staff member, does not take place on the grounds of the prospective student-athlete's educational institution or at the sites of organized competition and practice involving the prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete's team (high school, preparatory school, two-year college or all-star team), is not made for the purpose of recruitment of the prospective student-athlete, and involves only normal civility.

Ole Miss problem w/ Deuce McCallister link:

Here's my take...As long as the contact was incidental(which it appears he ran into him at the sports complex...not that unusual for a former player to be around during summer) it's simply incidental contact - as FWBVol previously stated . For example the Lady Vols' accusations against UConn stem from concern over multiple, prearranged meetings between a recruit and former players - not incidental contact. In Ron Higgins' article it states that the McCallister contact occured at a Meridian HS football game (not on the Ole Miss campus) w/ Meridian players who had verbally committed to Ole Miss. The situation was very complex as Deuce was a guest of the school's assistant principal - who was a cousin of one of Deuce's former teammates. As Higgins said, "This is just sheer stupidity." McCallister's problem was that he made incidental contact at the student-athletes' game. Bottom line, incidental contact is OK as long is it's NOT at the student athlete's HS campus or student athlete's athletic events.

thesavageorange writes:

Josh Boyd a 6'3 275lb 4* DT from Mississippi has also said he will make an unnoficial to Tennessee this summer.He has already been to Miss St and Michigan, and also plans a trip to LSU.All the big boys are atleast planning trips to UT and the facilities/campus speak for themselves.

The point:I can sell a styrofoam house to a guy in Oklahoma, but not if I can't get him in the front door.

RJ_Vol writes:

SavageOrange...I think at least one DT/DE will see the opportunity for playing time, see the excellent facilities(aka styrofoam house), and find the University of TN his home. As the recruiting momentum continues to build, I say we get one DT/DE that is at least 4* - maybe more, maybe much more. The foundation for an outstanding class has been set...

Orangebrewbasher writes:

Come on down biggin!

thesavageorange writes:

DaddyVol , I think Tennessee didn't think Knight would commit that early.Coaches have a board ranking prospects just like they do in the NFL w/ regard to drafting.If UT has 3-4 guys ranked higher than a guy like Knight then they have to wait.Problem is the 85 scholarship limit.In the old days UT would have pulled the trigger immediately on guys like Knight,Jackson,and Dabney.Unfortunately the kid usually feels slighted and disrespected, but doesn't realize these staffs have their hands tied.

However staffs sometimes make the mistake of thinking they can offer late and still get a guy.

DC_Vol writes:

Tennessee is in good position with Nunes, Giles and Stokes signing for the offense. Clearly defensive position players can see that the future looks bright for the 2009 class and for Tennessee football. I belieive we will see some highly touted defensive players including DT's sign in the future due to our success on offense. We will have a top ten class this year.

BSweet writes:

Thanks for the info RJ. I wasn't trying to start a panic but when I read the article it set off alarm bells. I was afraid we might have committed some infraction by accident. Glad to hear that we didn't.

invisiblekid writes:

Glad to see them play up the Darwin Walker angle.

Nice bit of information at 12:20 Savage O, every little bit helps and this makes me feel a little better about or chances to land him. It looks to me like we are definitely seeing a shift in recruiting strategies in going after some guys who might actually put the student back in student-athlete. Looks like the NCAA might have actually done something right with those APR reports.

orange4ever writes:

With all the stink going on in Tuskalooser,they will be going on a downhill slide,unless the recruits are so dumb they want to get involved with a coke slinging,pitbull running,gun dealing, bunch of low class losers whose coach is the biggest liar since Nixson, who said he didn't know what was going on.Also,whose fans want to stay on a U.T. site where there is something worth talking about instead of the latest imbreeding techniques on theirs.

thesavageorange writes:

Looks like we just made the top 5 for DeOnte Arnett a 6'4 243lb 4* DE from Forestville, MD.The biggest competition will be from Maryland and Ohio State.Arnett runs around a 4.8-4.9 so he may get a look at DE and DT.We have also been named the leader for 6'3 217lb LB/DE Brian Johnson of Charlotte, N.C.

The June camp had around 100+ offensive players and only 30 or so defensive players.That number should be flipped in July w/ some big names planning on attending.Hope we have the same luck then as we did w/ the June camp.In all honesty UT could have the 09' class almost wrapped up by the end of December.That will allow the staff to get a good jump on 2010.

RJ_Vol writes:

Nice work, savageorange. Very informative, thanks! That's encouraging information. Go Big Orange!

thesavageorange writes:

RJ_Vol , My pleasure.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Talked with the one Tenn insider I know today for about 30 mins. He said Williams is the real deal on D-line, others are borderline SEC material.

He also said that we must stop the UCLA run early, period. He expects a better offensive output as he was not a Cutcliff man. Said Cut did save someone's bacon in somehow engineering 10 wins, gnats poots and all. Forde at ESPN said either Spurrier or Fulmer will go after this year and he would suspect Spurrier has had enuf.

Also said Mayo will be missed big time.

Very interesting fellow with a big $$$$ stake in UT.

ncvol writes:

Hope he chooses Rocky Top ! Go Vols !

BigOrangeCrush writes:

THE UPSWING!! If you consider having one of your players selling powder cocaine in the parking lot of the practice facility, SATAN has them on a HIGH!! If that is the upswing it's not for us.

FWBVol writes:

Upswing at Alabama equals seven wins instead of six.

Colliervol writes:

Amen marc ash. Not to mention the lack of control that Saban and his coaches are showing. They didn't have a clue that some joker was selling drugs in their own athletic complex? Amazing.

PD, I thought Spurrier had had enough after last season. This one should just about do him in. Of course, if UT were to lose to UCLA, Florida, Georgia and Auburn, look out. I don't expect that but one never knows.

RJ_Vol writes:

PD...Were you just talking about DT's? I have to think Ben Martin is a little more than borderline material for the SEC. He has the frame, strength, and technique to be one of our best at DE. Additionally, we better stop the run early in every game - and get good field position. It makes their offense play to our defense's strength. Also, I was a big fan of the hurry-up, but not so much now. I felt quick "three and outs"(while we were in poor field position) put our D in even worse straights. I feel our defense will be hard hitting. However, we must "flip the field" in our favor w/ special teams, offensive production, and turnovers to help them out. Few have talked about punting(PD I think you mentioned it a few days ago), but a rookie at that position is an understated wild card.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Colliervol- Re those four you mentioned, I am concerned we can win 2 of them. Many count UCLA a done deal, but I don't. All the hoop-la goes out the window in a hot West Coast Stadium in September.

Think offense will be good for 30-35 ppg unless defense is getting killed. Then, of course, you won't have the chance to score 35 due to time of possession. This season could (hopefully won't) turn out to be monumental in the future direction of this program. Only 30 d-players coming to the first camp is a telling stat many choose to ignore.

We'll see soon....

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