The 2014 College Football season kicks off in ten days for the Virginia Tech Hokies so as we get ready for the season, we kick off our countdown of the top 10 Hokies entering this season. This is the first annual #VTFBTop10 and we had three voters for this top 10: editor Tim Thomas, and writers Joe Vitulli, and Dwight Lester. Now, let’s get right into the first #VTFBTop10 starting at number 10, safety Detrick Bonner.
At times, Detrick Bonner has made a couple of mistakes when used as a man coverage cornerback but there is no doubt that the Hokies will use Bonner full-time at the position he should be at, free safety. Bonner can be used in man coverage if he has help over the top but his best role is being that help over the top at free safety.
One of the biggest things with Bonner is his experience as he has made 30 starts so far in his Virginia Tech career and will most likely eclipse the 40-start mark this season. Bonner is fairly reliable at free safety and is one of four defensive backs that have made the #VTFBTop10. Bonner might be the weakest link in the Hokies’ starting secondary but he would definitely be the strongest secondary member on many FBS teams.
One of the best things about Bonner is his ball skills and his ability to close down on opposing receivers and breakup passes over the middle of the field. Bonner has had 22 pass deflections in his first three seasons in Blacksburg including six this past season and that number could end up being once again around 5 to 10. Bonner also had 2 interceptions last season and with his ball hawking ability, Bonner could potentially 2 to 3 interceptions this season.
Bonner is definitely a better pass coverage safety but Bonner also is a solid tackler and run defender on top of his great ball skills. Bonner has had 108 tackles and 5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons and should end up around the 60 tackle mark this season which would be quite good for a free safety at the college level.
Detrick Bonner isn’t a star but he is a consistently productive player and is one of the reasons why the Hokies have arguably the best secondary in college football.