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June 26, 2013
Jonathan Bonner knew the next move well before it happened.
Rather than let the recruiting process play out more the defensive end from Chesterfield, Mo., chose to jump on a new scholarship offer from Notre Dame, which arrived Wednesday morning via safeties coach and area recruiter Bob Elliott.
Bonner, a potential linebacker in South Bend, spoke with head coach Brian Kelly in the afternoon to finalize the details of a commitment he needed not even hours to mull over.
"I just made my commitment to coach Kelly!" Bonner said in a text message.
Notre Dame won out over scholarship offers from Army, Ball State, Idaho, Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana, Memphis, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, Missouri, Navy, New Mexico, Northern Illinois, Purdue and Toledo.
Last week the Irish worked Bonner out at camp. Previous to that the 6-foot-3, 253-pound camped at Missouri and left with a scholarship offer. He also hit the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour in the spring.
"Bonner showed flashes at the Rivals Camp Series stop in St. Louis but it wasn't, by any means, his best day," Rivals.com analyst Rob Cassidy said. "He's done enough in game situations to earn him the benefit of the doubt, though. He has the frame to play with his hand in the ground or standing up but currently looks more comfortable coming off the edge.
"His athleticism allows him to line up at multiple positions on both side of the ball for his high school team and will grant the Notre Dame staff some flexibility as far as positions go. He has a nose for the football and could be turned into a linebacker if the Irish so choose."
Last season Bonner had 64 total tackles (50 solo), eight tackles-for-loss, 12 sacks and one fumble recovery on defense. He chipped in 12 receptions for 258 yards and seven touchdowns as a tight end.
Bonner is commitment No. 13 for Notre Dame in the Class of 2014. He joins three-star linebacker Greer Martini, four-star tackle Jay Hayes and three-star end Andrew Trumbetti on the defensive side of the ball.