Chris Bonds, the 6-foot-4, 275-pound four-star defensive end from Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, S.C., has made a decision to play college football at Alabama.
"I'll be calling coach Nick Saban tomorrow (Monday) morning and letting him know," Bonds said. "I've already talked to my recruiting coach about it a few days ago (assistant head coach Burton Burns) just to let him know what I was thinking.
"My birthday was last Thursday and I thought about committing then, but decided to wait," he said. " I didn't really know how I was supposed to do this. I know guys have press conferences and stuff like that, but that's not what I wanted to do. Coach Burns said all I need to do is talk to coach Saban and make it official. But I'm committed to Alabama."
Bonds admits this was a difficult decision and was in fact leaning towards another school. "I really liked USC," he admitted. "I liked Los Angeles a lot and liked being in California. I really fell in love with the energy there and especially coach Pete Carroll."
So what happened with the Trojans? "Well, I really felt like I fit in well there and they were probably my top choice at the start of the year (his senior year)," Bonds said.
"But then it seemed like they weren't that interested. I stopped hearing from (running back) coach Todd McNair and tried to call him and didn't get a response," he said. "The strange part was that they were still sending me mail and letters, but wouldn't talk to me."
Bonds also attributes the torn meniscuses he suffered in October as another reason the Trojans lost interest. "After my injury they pretty much told me that they weren't going to be recruiting me anymore," he said.
"I took all that as a sign that maybe it wasn't meant to be," he said.
He visited Alabama on Oct. 17. "My visit went really well," he said. "I really liked getting to know coach Saban. We had breakfast at his house during the trip and I got to talk to him personally for like 30 minutes. He's a great judge of character and he pretty much had me pegged after our talk. He really understood me."
Bonds attributes much of the Tides' success this season to coach Saban. "He really turned them around," he said. "He's so straightforward and is all about business and that's a winning mentality. He expects a lot of effort from his players and he's proven himself at 'Bama."
Bonds said he also respects how Alabama and coach Saban have recruited him. "We became closer and closer and they were with me through thick and thin," he said. "That meant a lot."
Another factor that Alabama had going for it was its proximity. "It'll be great playing closer to have and having my friends and family be able to see me," he said. "I've got grandparents in Mississippi so that's pretty close to Alabama too. It'll be nice staying closer to home."
Bonds admits that distance definitely became an issue with Notre Dame. He visited the Irish on Sept. 12. "They really wanted me," he said. "I loved it up there, but it did feel a little weird. It just wasn’t right.
"Plus, I got the feeling my parents didn't want me to go that far away," he said. "Of course they told me it was my decision and they would support whatever, but I think they're really happy I picked Alabama instead."
Bonds also visited Tennessee on Oct. 24 officially, but the Vols didn't make his final cut.
He says he doesn't plan on taking any other visits and considers himself 100 percent committed to Alabama. "I'm done," Bonds said. "At least I will be once I tell coach Saban."
He says he'll either major in engineering or kinesiology. "That's another thing that drew me into Alabama because they have a really good engineering program," he said.
Bonds missed three games because of his torn meniscus and had surgery to repair it about a month ago. He says he's 100 percent now and played in his teams final game, a loss in the second round of the 4A playoffs.
He reports a 3.2 core GPA and a 1580 SAT.