Among the key attributes Trinity Christian Academy football coach Blake Butler deemed commendable about James Bond entering the 2013 season was his willingness to upgrade his mechanics at the running back position.
His continuous progress, to his credit, has benefited him mightily heading into what figures to be a memorable senior campaign.
Bond recently was chosen to showcase his skills in the Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour March 15 at Hattiesburg (Miss.) High. The two-day camp, which would be the sixth in a series that will take place in more than a dozen cities around the country, will feature several of the Mid-South’s elite high school players for the Class of 2015. For Bond, a three-year starter, the news of being selected to what has become one of the most well-publicized camps for college prospects was a testament to his stellar display this past season for Trinity Christian.
In helping the Lions to an 11-2 mark, including running the table (5-0) in District 15, the 6-foot, 175-pound Bond started each of TCA’s 13 games, generating 858 yards on 107 carries and nine touchdowns. As the Lions’ featured back, he was the catalyst of a potent offensive unit that amassed 186.4 rushing yards per games.
His contributions ultimately earned him TCA’s Most Improved Player during the team’s recent banquet.
“James is a guy who coming into the season, he was a preseason All-State player,” Trinity Christian coach Blake Butler told MemphiSport in a telephone interview from Jackson, Tenn. Saturday morning. “And he really did improve a lot. He’s a talented kid. He’s always trying to get better.”
After learning two weeks ago that Bond had been selected to appear in an invitation-only camp, Butler wasted little time informing his star rusher via text message.
“He gets a chance to see the cream of the crop,” said Butler, when asked what will Bond’s invite do for his confidence heading into his senior season. “(The scouts) noticed he a long, lean athlete. When you watch him in action, he the kid of kid who scratches his knees without bending. I expect him to do well down there.”
Bond, whose progress this past season stemmed from a efficient offseason in which he attended a number of 7-on-7 college camps, was ecstatic after learning he had been chosen to attend the Rivals Camp Series in which the top performers will have the chance to qualify for a spot in the Rivals100 Five Star Challenge and top underclassmen could qualify for a spot in the Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge.
“I felt honored and extremely excited about being chosen for this camp,” Bond said. “This just gives me more confidence to work harder in the offseason and learn to stay humble ever since I touched a football when I was five years old.”
Bond attributes a majority of his success in recent years to his older brother, Michael Bond, a Memphian and former college standout who currently plays semi-professional football.
“My older brother has been like a role model for me,” James Bond said. “He stayed on me, showed me how to be smarter and to stay focused on the field. He’s had a huge impact on my life lately.”
That James Bond has flourished considerably this past season didn’t go unnoticed, particularly by a host of Mid-South area colleges. Currently, he had garnered letters of interest from Tennessee, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Middle Tennessee State, and the University of Memphis, among others. While the possibility exists that he will receive official offers as early as before TCA’s fall training camp, he said he will not make a definitive decision on where to play college football until National Signing Day 2015.
“I really don’t pay any attention to stuff like that,” said James Bond, when asked to assess his recruiting process. “I let coaches handle all of that. It really doesn’t matter to me. I just want to fulfill my dream of playing college football.”
A dream in which a variety of college scouts have already acknowledged.