CFB AM: Notre Dame DE shares letter he wrote to inspire himself
JUL 22, 2014 9:00a ET
Have you heard of Jonathan Bonner?
If you root for Notre Dame, you probably have. Bonner is a three-star defensive end in the Class of 2014 who enrolled in classes this summer.
If your allegiance doesn’t rest in South Bend, there’s a solid chance you don’t know much about the kid. Well, everything you need to know exists in an old letter.
When Bonner was in eighth grade, he wrote a letter to himself that he would open before going off to college four years later. Recently, it came time to reflect on what he wrote and see if his original vision is unfolding like he planned.
Here’s the letter in full – it’s fantastic.
This is you from eighth grade. I hope you're doing okay. Off to college, huh? You better be. Think about how much freedom you'll have. You've grown up and now you're off on your own. You have a lot to look forward to.
It's almost the end of your eighth grade school year. Right now you were looking forward to summer, high school, and the biggest thing, football. You need to get either that TE or DE position. Did you get it? Right now what you don't what being a freshman will be like but you are anxious. Hopefully you played hard enough to go off to Notre Dame. If not, you better at least be going off to college.
In college there are some things you must avoid. First off, stay away from drugs and alcohol. If you have touched a drug I consider you a failure and you better change now or you are wasting your life. Same thing with alcohol, it will make you do stupid stuff and you will end up in bad situations. Second, stay away from knuckleheads (words from mom). They will get you into trouble. Finally, try to stay away from weapons. The only reason you should be using one is if you are going off into the army or you are in physical threat. DON'T LOOK FOR REVENGE! Use your hands if necessary. This should also be a last resort.
Here are some things you need to work hard at. First and most importantly, school. You will not get anywhere without it. Second off, work hard at football so, you can get yourself off to the NFL and make some money. You must also be respectful and responsibility to others and they will do the same to you. Your main goal is just to succeed.
Someone you need to be nice to is your sister. At this age in eighth grade she means everything to you and if you have lost her, you have lost yourself. You need her almost as much as you need yourself. She has been there for everything and your entire life so don't even try to bail on her. Who knows? You may need her someday.
As you should see you have grown and you have a lot of life left. Make it worthwhile and don't screw up.
Bonner posted this letter on Twitter in May, and it resurfaced on the Internet this past weekend.
The Bonners should be proud; what an impressive son they raised. Go get ‘em in South Bend, Jonathan.
(h/t Bleacher Report)
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Day 1 of Big 12 Media Days in Dallas brought fireworks of various degrees. First, commissioner Bob Bowlsby addressed the media and blasted the NCAA enforcement system. “Cheating pays,” Bowlsby said. Then, after the Big 12 made a fuss that leagues like the ACC and SEC don’t play nine league games, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher called it ridiculous the Big 12 doesn’t play a league title game, to which Baylor’s Art Briles said, “He needs to worry about the ACC. Don’t come to Texas telling me how to do my business.”
Was any actual football talked about? Yes, but nothing of significance (coaches aren’t giving away much about their teams now, anyway), and so we’re left with Briles’ bold words and Bowlsby’s incredibly bleak outlook on the future of college sports dominating the day.
2. How about Day 2 of ACC Media Days then? More of the same! This time, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney – one of the sport’s best talkers – took the stage and settled some scores. Maryland coach Randy Edsall, formerly of the ACC, said he’s excited about joining the Big Ten because he’d finally be in a “football conference.” Swinney wasn’t having that. “We just beat Ohio State [in the 2013 Orange Bowl],” he said Monday. “Aren’t they in that conference?”
Then Swinney was asked about his relationship with South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. “He’s from Pluto and I’m from Mars,” Swinney joked. It’s all in good fun; Swinney has great respect for Spurrier. On a more football-related note, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher also spoke and discussed rebuilding the Seminoles to defend their national championship.
3. The Big 12 Media Days wrap up in Dallas today. Taking their turns at the mic: Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads, West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and Texas’ Charlie Strong.
THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
2. Texas A&M ranked 109th in total defense last season, so improving that unit is probably even more important than figuring out who will take over long-term for QB Johnny Manziel. On Monday, Texas A&M lost two more players off that defense – one who left the team to attend to personal issues, another who was suspended – after two others were booted for disciplinary reasons earlier this spring. Not good.
3. Isaac Kolstad, the victim in the alleged Phillip Nelson assault case, is making progress in his rehab but still has a long ways to go for a full recovery. He and his family could use your good thoughts.
THREE THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW
1. This might be the coolest story from Monday’s Media Days. Briles was discussing how Baylor QB Bryce Petty is well known nationally this year after having a huge 2013 and leading Baylor to the Fiesta Bowl. He said even those at a Dairy Queen in Salem, Oregon, know who Petty is now. Well, there happen to be six Dairy Queens in the Salem area, and a radio station called all of them. None of them had heard of Petty (listen to the three minutes of audio – it’s terrific). This made it back to the Baylor social media guys, who had a little fun with Petty on Instagram. Take a look:
Who knew Petty and Salem, Oregon, Dairy Queens would form this special bond? Media Days are the best.
2. Aaron Brenner notes three rule changes to keep in mind this season. Take a peak, because you’re bound to get pissed at least 10 times due to one of these (probably the one relating to QB hits).
3. On Monday, Alabama coach Nick Saban held up his end of a deal that awarded a non-football scholarship to a former Tide football recruit who can no longer play after suffering a neck injury during his senior high school season. Speaking of Saban, Alabama journalism instructor and former Sports Illustrated vet Lars Anderson writes about Saban and The Process. This is an example of the perfect match between writer and subject (Anderson has spent a ton of time around Alabama reporting a book due out soon, so he knows the community and program better than most).
On the Crimson Tide: “You realize if it’s not the national championship, Alabama don’t even care who they play.” Oh.
On life: “Life’s not fair. Life’s not fair at all, you know? To live is to struggle. To survive is to find meaning in the struggle.” Preach, Oakman.
* SI’s Lindsay Schnell writes about how Oakman and Baylor’s defense are trying to create more of an identity for themselves this season.
* Ex-LSU and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger was reportedly sucker-punched by an Alabama fan in a bar called “Losers” after a friend of that fan yelled, “Roll Tide!” What in the world is going on?
What is CFB AM? Click here and scroll to 'Lastly.'
Teddy Mitrosilis is an editor and writer for FOXSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TMitrosilis and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.