Brown Reaches Out to Bonner

Brown Reaches Out to Bonner

Although jumping feet first into the 2015 recruiting cycle for his new employer, Wisconsin running back coach Thomas Brown reached out on Wednesday to Philadelphia Imhotep Institute tailback Nas Bonner, who has thought highly of the Badgers for some time.

Although mainly hired to recruit the state of Georgia and the Southeast, one of Thomas Brown's other responsibilities is to find the next great running back to run in Wisconsin's backfield.

Offered by the Badgers last spring, Philadelphia Imhotep Institute tailback Nas Bonner had been doing his research on Brown since he was hired, seeing if he would be able to build a relationship with him like the one he built with former running back coach Thomas Hammock.

After their first conversation Wednesday, so far so good.

"(Coach Brown) seems extremely interested in me and wants me to get down there for a visit," Bonner told BadgerNation. "We just talked about regular things. It really wasn't football too much. It was more of a get-to-know-you conversation and how we were going to stay in contact with each other, hopefully twice a week."

The 5-10, 180-pound Bonner was hoping he would still get recruited by Wisconsin after Hammock left earlier this month for the NFL. Saying Wisconsin is the school he is "very high on," Bonner's background check on Brown got him even more excited about the potential he has with the UW program.

"I saw that he played for the Falcons, and that's my favorite football team right now," said Bonner, alluding to the fact that Brown was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. "We have a lot of things in common."

Originally offered by the Badgers in May of his sophomore year, his fourth scholarship offer, Bonner's love for the Wisconsin program has continued to grow over time.

"I just love how they treat their running backs and they are a contending team," said Bonner. "It's a good position. I have a good chance of starting there."

Bonner said he has thought about committing to the school, but recognizes the fact that he hasn't met with Brown in person or visited the campus, two things he plans to do in the spring.

"I want to go out there and see if I can live there for four years," said Bonner. "There's really nothing preventing me (from committing), but I want to keep my options open."

Currently ranked a three-star prospect and the No.40 tailback in the country by Scout.com, Bonner lists Rutgers as another school he is interested in, as well as talking to coaches from Cincinnati and Northwestern. He hopes to visit those schools in the spring, as well.

Bonner is looking forward to getting out and seeing campuses after a particularly challenging offseason. Not only has the cold weather played havoc with parts of his training schedule, Bonner is considering switching high schools to better his situation on the football field.

"It's been very hard," said Bonner, who reports a 3.0 GPA. "Football is my life and is something that I want to do, but you can't do that if you don't get the good grades. After football season, it's really hard to stay on track in school. I try to limit my love for football to work on the things I need to play football.

"My dad has a chance to be a coach at another school, and I just want to get totally ready for college. I want to go to a school that's heavy on giving the running back the ball … and get some more carries. I feel I can outwork anybody on the field."

Whatever high school he lands is going to get a good running back, who had over 1,200 yards on roughly 150 carries. In one game last season, Bonner filled in for some injured teammates by returning kicks and punts, kicking off and rushed for 160 yards on 16 carries.

When the cold weather finally relents, Bonner plans on executing his "zero-tolerance" training program.

"I am going to do everything I need to do to get bigger," said Bonner. "When the weather does break I am going to be on the field trying to get faster, working on my moves. Right now I am just in the gym trying to get bigger."

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