Following his official visit to Oklahoma on Oct. 4, Devante Bond would admit that he was going to have a very tough time seeing himself anywhere other than Oklahoma. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound prospect had been enamored with Oklahoma since he first emerged as a class of 2013 prospect.
In spite of his excitement about the Sooners he wanted to make sure he did his due diligence and took a trip to Nebraska for an official visit to check out the Huskers.
The visit ended up impressing the Roseville (Calif.) Sierra C.C. product more than he ever anticipated.
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"I had to sit back and think about it the past few weeks," Bond said of the time spent since his visit to Nebraska on Nov. 1.
"Oh yeah, Nebraska was really good. Going there, I knew they had to do something, I didn't expect that, I kind of thought I would be going to Oklahoma but they gave me a lot to think about.
"I was about 51% Oklahoma, 49% Nebraska for a while, that's how close it was the whole time. That's how it was feeling. "
So what was it that finally put the Sooners over the top?
"I always felt like Oklahoma was the place to be. It just started to be more and more clear that Oklahoma was the place. It was just at thought of where I needed to be was Oklahoma," he said.
Tonight Bond called the Sooner coaching staff and had a lengthy conversation going over some final questions about his potential future in Norman. He then hung up, took some time to mull things over and called Tim Kish with one simple question to ask. But a funny thing happened on his way to connecting with the Sooner assistant.
"I actually called coach Kish but Bob Stoops grabbed the phone and he answered the phone and I told him I had one more question," he said.
"I asked him 'what number can I have?' I was just laughing, I was just talking with them and called them back, I was kind of quiet about, and he was like Oh No. 5, any number you want.
"And I was like 'well ok, you've got a commitment'. They started getting real happy and excited. They were asking 'that's all we had to do was get you a number?'.
"I'm more than happy just being a Sooner."
Bond says the No. 5 is the one he wanted and though he spent a lot of time talking with the Sooner staff tonight he has spent even more time speaking with his coaches at Sierra to get their thoughts on where he'd fit best.
"I had a conversation last week with Nebraska and they talked to my coach for a long time because he has helped me with my recruiting and he knows me as a football player better than anyone. I'm in the best position to be, it came down to the system, it's the best system for me and I know I'm taken care of. The players and coaches are taken care of," he said.
That role, long thought to be a simple replacement of current rush outside linebacker Eric Striker, could be the two outside linebackers combining to be a problem for Big 12 offenses.
"They are trying to get to a 3-4. The thing is with him offenses know where he is coming from and they don't have that extra guy to take some of the pressure off," he said. "I think the plan is to have us on opposite sides. Make them have to guess who is coming and who is dropping and really pick your own poison. That's the plan for me and him and me having a bit of a stronger side position since I'm a bigger guy."
As mentioned, Bond always had an affinity for Oklahoma and made no denials about how much it meant to him to have the opportunity in the class of 2013. However that never came to be and Bond eventually signed with Miami before a few hiccups prevented him from playing with the Hurricanes this season. He got a second chance and with Oklahoma's new 3-4 look he was in a much better spot than the tweener role that he would have filled in their former 4-3.
"Everything happens for a reason, definitely last year, when I first talked to coach Kish, when I saw him at my practice and was talking with him. I wanted to be at Oklahoma the whole time - things didn't work out. Things happen for a reason and it's ok and I'm going to be a Sooner now."
Unlike his issues at Miami, and his former teammate Courtney Gardner's issues getting qualified Bond says his academics are good to go.
"I've just got to finish out, about five weeks and then that's it. I'll be there soon."