Rivedale senior defensive back Gentry Bonds isn’t stressing on where he will commit to play college football.
However, he does plan to enroll early to whichever school he chooses, so his decision will come within the next month and a half.
“I’m focused on what (Riverdale) can do,” said Bonds, No. 7 on The Tennessean Dandy Dozen. “That’s my main priority. It’s in the back of my mind that I’ll be playing college football, but I’m not worried about where I’m going.”
Bonds is a three-star athlete and the No. 21-ranked player in the state in the 2017 class. The Dandy Dozen features the top senior college football prospects in Middle Tennessee as selected by The Tennessean high school sports staff with input from area high school coaches and recruiting services.
Bonds said his top five were Clemson, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Missouri and Nebraska in June.
He said he expects to make a decision by late September or early October. In the meantime he will try to lead Riverdale back to prominence in Class 6A. The Warriors finished 6-6 and reached the second round of the playoffs a season ago.
“The school has a lot of tradition, and me and the seniors are ready to get us back to that,” said Bonds, who had 59 tackles (four for a loss), four interceptions and a fumble recovery in 2015. “It’s something to work for — to get back to the glory days.”
Riverdale’s defense has looked strong on the preseason, thanks to some key cogs returning. Bonds has worked on his physique in the offseason.
“I’ve put on weight and gotten faster,” said the 6-2, 192-pounder. “I feel good about where I am. I can get to the ball better on defense and finishing tackles.”
Bonds is already familiar with the expectations of first-year Riverdale coach Will Kriesky, who was the team’s defensive coordinator last season.
“He had all our respect last year, and we want to go win for him,” Bonds said.
Kriesky said the intangibles make Bonds an even more valuable member of the Warrior squad.
“He is a guy that has bought into everything we are trying to do and establish at Riverdale,” Kriesky said. “He has had a great year in the weight room and he is a guy we lean on to motivate others on the practice field.”
Reach Cecil Joyce at 615-278-6178 and on Twitter @Cecil_Joyce.
Height: 6-1 Weight: 195
247Sports composite: Three star
College plans: Committed to Clemson (Aug. 18).
2015 statistics: The 2015 All-Region 2-6A selection finished his junior season with 59 tackles — five behind the line of scrimmage — four interceptions and one fumble recovery.