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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football #55: Jonathan Bonner

We’re over halfway through our player profile series!

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Notre Dame vs Ohio State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s turn our attention to the defensive line and look at senior Jonathan Bonner. Like the rest of the D-Line for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Bonner has a lot of questions surrounding him going into the 2017 season. The Irish have been doing great on the recruiting trail in terms of the defensive front, but guys have to step up before those recruits arrive to prevent another brutal season. Can Bonner help out?

Bonner is a product of Chesterfield, Missouri, where he played on the defensive line and was also a successful tight end at Parkway Central High School. Now in his fourth year at Notre Dame, new defensive coordinator Mike Elko will have a use for him in the middle of the defensive line, so 2017 will be his time to shine.

3 Things to Know About Jonathan Bonner

  1. Bonner was a stud in high school, and was a second-team All-American, as well as the St. Louis Dispatch player of the year in 2013. He was kind of a big deal.
  2. He is a senior now, but has another year of eligibility after this season due to preserving a year as a freshman. In all likelihood he will use it, so this is likely not a last hurrah for Bonner.
  3. Bonner hasn’t been a focal point of the defense, so at least you could say he wasn’t much of a part in last season’s disaster. His career high in tackles is two, which he first accomplished against UMASS in 2016. He will have a heightened role this season for sure.

YouTube Hot Fire:

Here’s him making some kids look like infants on the gridiron during his high school days. Seriously, this dude looked like a giant out there.

I, RyChi, Dub Thee:

JonBon, so we can share similar nickname origins.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame vs Syracuse Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Forecast

The defensive line has already taken a hit in the spring when Elijah Taylor went down with a foot injury that has kept him out ever since. He could be out even longer than that. Can Bonner step up and make a contribution to a defense that will be scrutinized from the opening kickoff against Temple?

He will certainly have his chance. With Taylor on the shelf, Bonner is all but guaranteed a spot alongside Jerry Tillery on the defensive line. Coaches and scouts praise his athleticism, so Elko will have to see if that athleticism can be translated into a successful pass rush. Elko and the Irish defense can use all the help they can get.