A week ago it looked as though the Sooners would have five early enrollees but on Sunday only three prospects arrived as expected. Four-star wide receiver Dallis Todd announced via Twitter that he wouldn't be making it as planned due to the late completion of his high school's semester.
The other missing player?
Three-star linebacker Devante Bond. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound prospect from Roseville (Calif.) Sierra C.C. had expected to make it to Norman on Sunday with the rest of his midterm graduates however he found out late last week there had been a change of plans.
"I'm reporting now on Tuesday, they had to get my final transcript, and they aren't going to have it until Monday. I know I'll be there Tuesday, so everything is good," Bond said.
Bond is familiar with such issues after signing with Miami in the class of 2013 and hitting enrollment snags and being forced to return to Sierra. However, he says this situation is nothing similar and is scheduled to be in Norman early Tuesday afternoon.
"It's just getting the paperwork done, we couldn't get it until Monday," he said.
As mentioned, things didn't work out for Bond at Miami and it left him with the misfortune of spending the last year away from organized football. Though he has been working out Bond knows there are some finer points he'll have to refamiliarize himself with.
"I'm ready to go, get the rust off and get to working and get focused for next season. I'm ready to get going," he explained. "I'm working with my trainers at Elite fitness, doing all my pass rush stuff.
"You don't have the linemen like you would have because they are in season when I'm trying to train so that's been a little rough but I've been trying to stay in shape, running stands, and I'll dust the rust off. I'll be playing at a higher level but I'm sure I'll adapt to it."
Bond, who says he has been keeping a close eye on the rest of the 2014 class since his commitment, also kept an eye on the Sooners as they took down Alabama 45-31 and came away with a positive feeling about his future program.
"Coming off a game like that, it's a positive, it makes it easier for me, I was watching the game, trying to see how I could fit in - I'm still watching. I'm ready to get things going. I'm just at that point where I'm ready to work," he said.
"They just showed that speed, that's what stood out. Striker did his thing; he's a quick one. It's' good to see the defense have that success."
"The success at the end of the year, that makes me really excited, coming into spring, and watching that mindset. As a team, and for me personally, I'm ready to aim for the big ones - hopefully things go well and everyone has the right mindset."
Bond, like many Sooner fans, is ready to lineup across from Striker in the 3-4 alignment that the Sooners showed so frequently against the Crimson Tide. Tim Kish and the rest of the Sooner coaching staff has been talking with Bond about how he'll fit into future plans.
"We've been talking about how I'm going to be used, it's all just looking to the future. I talked to coach Mike Stoops too and they have certain plans for me next year. They want to play around with me with me being on the field and just certain packages that they are pretty much going to have plans. They want to see me and Striker on opposite sides and they want to play with that a bit. I have to come in with the mindset of being ready to help," he said.
"It's just a new chapter, I'm playing on the next level, I'm ready to play football again. You heal up but it's just me being a player, it's a hard thing just to watch and I'm itching to get back on the field. I've been working and have the right mindset.
The business management major says his goals are simple but there is one that is central to all of his ideas.
"I definitely have goals that I plan on reaching but I'm more of a day by day guy, I have to take everything day by day classroom and on the field, those days I should have some real success," he said. "Right now, I'm just coming in with that right attitude, we've got a good season coming up, we're going to try and get back to the national championship."
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