“Stanford just had everything that I was looking for academically and athletically to excel,” Bonnell said. “The opportunities they provide for their athletes are great and everything there is just looking up.”
Bonnell committed to the Cardinal over reported offers from Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Arizona State, Washington and many others.
“After my trip to Stanford [in the middle of June] I thought about it a little bit, and I just felt it was the right time and I felt comfortable with my decision,” Bonnell said.
In the last few months Bonnell had also taken unofficial visits to Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State and Cal. He said that the Stanford left a lasting impression.
“I thought Stanford was great and obviously it really left a great impact on me if I picked Stanford to be the place,” Bonnell said. “The first thing we did when on the visit was go on a campus tour. We saw the facilities, the football field, the academic facilities and the school itself. It takes awhile to get around the school because it’s so big but it’s very nice and everything feels compact at the same time.”
Bonnell also was able to get better acquainted with his future coaching staff.
“When I met the coaching staff, I was just blown away with how intense they were and how much of a family they were,” Bonnell said. “They were just very organized and together a lot more than I expected, and they’re on the right path to winning.”
Despite starring as a tackle for his Thunder Ridge High School team, colleges seem split on where they think Bonnell will best project at the next level. While some envision Bonnell staying on the outside, the Stanford coaches see Bonnell as a rugged interior lineman that could turn into one of the better run blockers in the Pac-10.
“They say I play very rough and that I’m a great run blocker,” Bonnell said. “They say I can really open up holes well and I have a lot of aggression and passion for the game. They also say my pass blocking is very good as well.”
Among the Cardinal’s largest 2010 recruits at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, Bonnell also feels he has the intangibles to be a leader on and off the field.
“I feel that my leadership is very good along with my run blocking skills, Bonnell said. “I feel that when it comes down to it we’re going to get those last three yards because I just feel when I line up across from someone we’re going to win.”
Bonnell is also a star on the baseball diamond, a standout performer as a catcher and a first baseman. Several schools have shown interest in having Bonnell play two sports, but he plans to focus on football at the collegiate level.
“It’s something where we’ve had the option, but I decided that I want to stick with football and just focus on it.”
Bonnell reports a 4.0 GPA and is scheduled to take a standardized test in the near future. While visiting Stanford, Bonnell had the opportunity to meet with some members of the admissions office and was told that he should have no problem getting accepted to the school.
“They feel it will be no problem for me to get into the school,” Bonnell said.
Bonnell also says that barring admissions difficulties, he is solid in his decision to commit to Stanford.
“Right now I’m very happy with my choice of going to Stanford and I feel very comfortable with it,” Bonnell said.
At the end of TheBootleg’s interview with Bonnell, we asked him to share his thoughts on a number of very important off-the-field topics.
Andy Drukarev, TheBootleg: What’s your favorite Movie? Dillon Bonnell: Remember the Titans.
AD: Favorite NFL Team? DB : Tennessee Titans.
AD: Should Kerry Collins or Vince Young be the Titans’ starting QB? DB : Kerry Collins did a great job last year but I think Vince Young can be a great attribute to that team.
AD: Who is your favorite NFL player? DB: I really enjoy watching Troy Polamalu from the Steelers.
AD: Do you ski or snowboard? DB: Snowboard
AD: What’s your favorite type of music? DB: Rap or hip hop
AD: Do you have a favorite artist? DB: No
Bonnell is considered the 57th-best offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com and is rated similarly by Rivals.