Former UAB Commit Matt Bonadies, “God Had A Plan”
Written by, One On One Kicking Head Write, Zach Harig
The College Football world was taken by storm on December 2, 2014 when the University of Alabama-Birmingham announced it was shutting down their football program. At the time, the country gave their full attention to the current players at UAB who gave their hearts to the Blazer football program. However, there were several recruits who committed to UAB and were left searching for other homes. One of those Blazer commits was One On One Kicking trainee, Matt Bonadies. Bonadies had committed to head coach Bill Clark and UAB in July after receiving an offer and falling in love with the program. Once the program had shut down, one of the top kickers in the Class of 2015 had thoughts that he may not get a chance to play big-time college football.
Bonadies recalls finding out the program was being shut down and having thoughts it was too late to receive another offer. “At the very beginning I thought it’s so late in the process, I’ve missed five months of recruiting after committing. But I built up my confidence after training with Coach McCabe and Dawson Zimmerman and looked forward to a future scholarship because I knew I could achieve it.”
And achieve, he did. Just a few days following the UAB shutdown, Bonadies received calls from UMass, Southern Miss, Georgia State and Eastern Kentucky. Following these calls, three preferred walk-on offers came from Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky and Kennesaw State. However, one call would change everything for Bonadies and his family.
Bonadies planned several official visits to find another home prior to signing day.
However, Middle Tennessee State would change those plans, “Middle Tennessee State called me and the first time they asked if they offered me a scholarship if I would visit their school before the other schools. That really stood out to me,” Bonadies stated, “None of the other schools said anything about a full scholarship offer.”
The offer from MTSU turned the tables for Bonadies, “I felt extremely excited because that’s when my spirits turned around. I had the potential of going there and starting right away.”
Despite being one of the top kickers in the Class of 2015, One On One Kicking founder, Mike McCabe has worked with Bonadies to improve his punting ability.
“Matt reminds me a lot of Pat McAfee of the Indianapolis Colts because Pat was a kicker turned punter as well,” McCabe stated on Bonadies, “He has great work ethic. Matt really studies his drill sheet and works extremely hard. We really expect Matt to have a great college career and do big things,” McCabe added.
For Bonadies, he will go to Middle Tennessee State assigned the duties of kickoff and punting. However, the thankful Bonadies says without One On One Kicking this may not have been possible.
“Honestly, Coach McCabe was the first person that called me after UAB shutdown and he said it’s on and that we’re going to work harder and get something better,” Bonadies said on One On One Kicking’s involvement in the situation, “McCabe told me this was meant to happen. I continued the year-round training and refined myself in the punting aspect of things with One On One.”
Bonadies now has the opportunity to go into Middle Tennessee State and play right away, which he says is truly a blessing. “God had a plan, when one door closed, another opened,” Bonadies stated, “I am stoked. I’m going into a school and starting right away which is a true blessing and I plan on really contributing to the team.”