Demopolis standouts Bonner, Lynch sign football scholarship offers

Demopolis High School continued its run of collegiate signees Wednesday when a pair of senior standouts inked National Letters of Intent.

Tim Bonner (left) blows past Alabama offensive line signee Lester Cotton (76) when Demopolis took on Central-Tuscaloosa during the 2014 season.

Tim Bonner (left) blows past Alabama offensive line signee Lester Cotton (76) when Demopolis took on Central-Tuscaloosa during the 2014 season.

Defensive end Tim Bonner, a First Team All-State lineman, made good on the verbal commitment he offered six months ago when he signed with Louisville.

Bonner chose Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals over offers from Ole Miss, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Missouri among others, becoming the fourth Demopolis player in two years to sign with an Atlanta Coast Conference school.

“They’re losing all their top three speed rushers. They needed some speed rushers coming in, so I jumped on board,” Bonner said, noting that the opportunity to play early at Louisville proved most appealing. “I had to look at that depth chart. They want to use me as a jack linebacker, speed rusher because they run a 3-4.”

As a junior, Bonner found himself playing predominantly on third downs in obvious passing situations. As a senior, the Demopolis coaches moved the 6-5, 225-pounder into a full-time role.

“I had to learn how to stop the run,” Bonner said. “It got easier my senior year. I caught on to it.”

Bonner led the team with 84 total tackles as a senior, including 31 tackles for loss and nine sacks in only 10 games.

“I feel no more stress on my mind, no more pressure,” Bonner said after signing Wednesday morning. “My family is happy.”

The Tigers also saw running back Rashad Lynch sign with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Rashad Lynch (3) runs off the block of Travares hall during the Tigers game against BC Rain.

Rashad Lynch (3) runs off the block of Travares hall during the Tigers game against BC Rain.

Lynch missed all of his underclassman years and played in his first varsity game as a senior. Throughout the recruiting process, he stressed to coaches the importance of his time away from the sport.

“I told them I had to change my attitude, my ways and become a better player on the field,” Lynch said.

A 6-0, 221-pound running back, Lynch found his niche in the Tigers’ offense this season, rushing for 1,189 yards and 18 touchdowns on only 119 carries.

“It felt great. I thought it was the best opportunity for me to get my education and further my skills in sports,” Lynch said. “I want to make it to a bigger school and set some more big goals for myself in life.”

With seemingly plenty of mileage left in him, Lynch now turns his attention toward landing the major college offer he still desires.

“They want me to work harder in the weight room and on the track and keep my grades to a certain average so I can go to a bigger school,” Lynch said of the expectations already being laid upon him by MGCCC coaches. “I probably won’t be playing the upcoming season, but the following season I’ll be playing.”

The duo’s Wednesday NLIs mean that former head coach Tom Causey had 17 players from his Demopolis teams sign collegiate offers.