Nearly a month after securing their first 2014 commitment, the Irish basketball program grabbed another with forward Bonzie Colson (Barrington, RI - St. Andrews). Colson is listed at 6'5" and around 215 pounds and continues to fill up the frontcourt of the future for Notre Dame. This recruitment was led by assistant Martin Ingelsby early on and brought home by head coach Mike Brey, who spent a lot of time this summer and early fall watching Colson on the AAU circuit and at his high school.
Colson's recruitment was slow developing, as many schools were interested early on but slow to offer the Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year. That all changed with a superstar summer performance, leading his AAU program BABC (which has produced Nerlens Noel and Georges Niang in recent years) to the exclusive Nike Peach Jam. He is reported to have had the most efficient offensive summer in the Elite Youth Basketball League as well, leading a list of many blue chip recruits.
It is certainly not a coincidence that the Irish have gotten another recruit from ACC(ish) territory following their move to the conference. They beat out new conference mates Miami, Pitt, and runner up Florida State for Colson's commitment. He also had offers from good programs outside the ACC, including Iowa State, Minnesota, Temple, and the headliner of the bunch, Connecticut.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 4 star, NR nationally, #25 PF, 81 rating
Rivals - 3 star, #146 nationally, #20 PF
Scout - 3 star, NR nationally, NR PF
247 - 3 star, #114 nationally, #26 SF, 89 rating
247 Composite - 3 star, #130 nationally, #30 SF, .9059 rating
Bonzie Colson Jr. - Mixtape @ AAU Super Showcase (via iaelites)
There are also plenty of Youtube highlights of Colson's high school (St. Andrews) and AAU (BABC) teams that feature him prominently.
It's easy to say this for a low-ranked Notre Dame commit, but I wouldn't put too much stock in Colson's recruiting rankings. Most of them barely had profiles made for him until Notre Dame offered this summer, and they certainly haven't come completely around on a 6'5" power forward. That said, Colson had one of the best summers of the class of 2014, and despite his size has a very long wingspan and plays with excellent skill and athleticism.
How much he contributes early in his career likely depends on how well Eric Katenda and Austin Torres are able to recover from their injuries and play significant productive minutes. It would not surprise me to see Colson (and/or fellow commit Martin Geben) surpass both players for playing time in their freshman years, although I think Colson needs to first put in some work in the weight room to become more solid if he is to be much of a post player.
Being the size that he is, Colson has a very complete game. He has played plenty both out on the perimeter and inside and is very skilled in all aspects of the game. He gives Brey a lot of flexibility, and his long arms mean he may not be much of a liability against most college bigs and could be a match-up nightmare for many. He can handle the ball very smoothly and is very adept around the basket. He has to establish that he can play big in likely the best conference in the country, but he brings so much to the table that he really has a high ceiling.
It will be interesting to see how Mike Brey plans to use Colson and more generally how he wants his team to play on both ends of the court, as this could determine whether Colson becomes more of a small or power forward or some combination of the two. No matter what, it is very easy to envision the efficient, well-rounded Colson becoming a major contributor to the Irish program.
Welcome to Notre Dame, Bonzie!