The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football roster is having a very active week. Defensive Tackle Jonathan Bonner announced that he is coming back to Notre Dame for his fifth year of eligibility.
Back in Novemeber, Bonner announced that he would not seek a fifth year of eligibility at Notre Dame, and many assumed that he would either transfer or move on with his life. That isn't the case anymore.
Jonathan's an awesome kid. He could’ve moved on with his degree from ND, but he decided to return to further his education and help us work toward a national championship. Jonathan's made great strides on the field and I’m excited to see him rewarded for those efforts.— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) January 16, 2018
Bonner's return means that the entire starting four on the defensive line is coming back for 2018, and we can now say that the Irish defense is returning 10 of 11 starters.
After a season that saw tremendous strides on that side of the ball, this news is nothing short of AWESOME. Not only does it mean there is yet another starter coming back, but the defensive line depth that is so coveted in the sport of football, is very much in good shape in South Bend.
Bonner had 30 tackles in 2017. 3.5 tackles were for a loss, including 2 sacks.
His return does bring up new questions about how the race for 85 will finish this fall. Currently, Notre Dame is projected to be two scholarships over the limit with National Signing day just a few weeks away and a possibility of landing about 3 or 4 more recruits from a 10 man target list.
Things could get interesting - but for now, the mood is good because a deep experienced defense never goes out of style.