Top CB prospect has Tigers in top three


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Deion Bonner Deion Bonner
Defensive Back
5'11, 185
Columbus, GA

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says the Clemson Tigers are definitely in the running for his services, and he told TigerNet Wednesday afternoon that he feels Clemson is now in a three-way tie, along with Georgia and Alabama.

Bonner is one of the Southeast’s top cornerback prospects for 2012, and the 5-11, 185-pounder out of Carver High School (Columbus, Ga.) said last Saturday’s visit to Clemson for the Orange and White Game moved Clemson up in his estimation.

“It was good getting back up there,” Bonner said. “I got to meet with Coach [Charlie] Harbison and touch base with him, and then I got to spend some time talking to Coach [Dabo] Swinney. It was just good to be there.”

Bonner also has offers from Auburn, Florida St., Miami [Fla.], Southern Cal and South Carolina, and he said he is taking his time during the recruiting process.

“I am trying to take it slow, and not rushing the whole process,” he said. “I am looking at each school, one-by-one. It is a great feeling to have the opportunity to have these college coaches and schools looking at you, but you can't take it for granted. Knowing that you have these types of schools looking at you, you don’t want to fall off and give them a reason to stop looking.”

As a junior, Bonner had 52 tackles, five interceptions and rushed for 158 yards on the offensive side of the ball. Following the season, he quickly found more offers coming in, and says that right now Clemson has moved into a tie with the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide.

“Right now, it’s definitely Clemson, Alabama and Georgia,” he said. “It’s a hard decision, and I am going to wait it out a little bit, and I know that one of the schools will separate itself. Alabama has a good program, and a good coaching staff. They also play a lot of man defense, which is the type of defense I like to play. Georgia - that was my favorite school growing up and their coaching staff is down to earth.”

The Tigers have put themselves firmly into the fray, however.

“Coach Cheese [Harbison] is my recruiter, and if I go there, he would be my position coach,” he said. “He is a very down to earth guy, and there is just this great atmosphere at Clemson. It’s a great place to be. Coach Swinney is a good head coach. And Coach Cheese always mentions that there would be a great opportunity for me to play early if I work hard. He is telling me I have great ball skills, and the height to come in and play early.”

Former Clemson cornerback Crezdon Butler was picked by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2010 NFL draft, and former defensive backs Marcus Gilchrist and DeAndre McDaniel will both more than likely be drafted in the 2011 draft.

Bonner said he notices things like that, as well.

“I look at that, to see how well the defensive backs are doing in the draft,” he said. “That is a big thing to look at, to see how the coaches have influenced them and helped them get to that point. To see how they are coaching their players up.”

Bonner said another factor in Clemson’s favor is the fact that he got to watch two of his former teammates during Saturday’s game – offensive lineman David Beasley and defensive end Corey Crawford – and would love the opportunity to play with them again.

“I keep in touch with them over Facebook and over the phone,” he said. “It was good to see them again in person, and just get to be around my old teammates. Corey had a lot of sacks. It would be great to be back with my old teammates and dominate like we did at Carver.”

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