Palisades Park (NJ) Tony Bonadies talks in a Q&A
Palisades Park's (NJ) center Tony Bonadies has led his squad to a 2-2 start to the season. Bonadies comes from a line of brothers who have played college football. At 6-4 and 295 pounds, Bonadies lines up at center but he has the size and quickness to play other positions along the offensive line. The Palisades Park lineman cracked NUC's top 30 for the class of 2013 in the state of New Jersey. Bonadies has the football IQ and size to play college football at the division one level. He plays with low pad level and really drives his feet when he makes contact with the defender. In pass protection, Bonadies has good technique and really uses his size to his advantage by stonewalling A gap blitzes from linebackers.
Steven Barsamian NUC: You guys are 2-1 (now 2-2), how would say the season has been going so far?
Tony Bonadies: Well our first game was a close win over Hawthorne. Our second game was a close overtime loss. I think we could have easily won that one. Last week we beat Weehawken and shut down their running back who was all state last year as a junior. We only allowed him to rush for 100 yards. This week we play against Saddle Brook. (They lost 21-14) We were just named in the top 25 for North Jersey State Rankings. So the season is looking pretty good right now.
NUC: What would you say your team has improved on the most from last season?
TB: Our defense has been really good this year. They have been shutting down all the stars on the other teams that we have been playing. We are starting to play more as a team. Our offense is looking better. We are starting to become dynamic and physical. We are hitting harder. I think we had a good offseason and we worked out hard.
NUC: What have you improved on since last season?
TB: I am definitely stronger this year. My feet are quicker and I am bigger, more physical, and meaner. I'm hitting people harder this year. I think my improvements have to do with working hard in the offseason. I also have been training at ETS working explosive training. I worked out up there a lot and got a lot stronger. My feet also got a quicker with the training.
NUC: What would you say your strengths are as a player?
TB: For my size I think I have really quick feet. I think I have a good football IQ and I read defenses well. I'm good at getting up to second level. I'm good at controlling the line because I am a center. When we do no huddle stuff, I have to call out plays and protections.
NUC: What would you say your expectations and goals are for this season?
TB: I would like to win our League Championship and then go on to states as a team. Personally I would like to get state recognition. I got third team all county last year. This year I want to get first team all county. I think our team has a good chance of winning our League Championship and making it to the state playoffs which our team hasn't done in quite a few years.
NUC: What would you say you need to do to achieve these goals?
TB: I mean our defense has been playing great; we just need to keep that up. We got to clean up some stuff on the offensive end, we are making one too many mistakes. We have the playmakers; we just shoot ourselves in the foot sometimes. Personally I want to work on snapping and stepping a little bit quicker. I also want to be quicker to the second level and need to keep on finishing blocks.
NUC: Who is the big dog in your section in the playoffs that you need to beat to achieve your goals?
TB: Probably Saddle Brook. They are ranked number 2 in north jersey. That is one of our big games. Then after that our second to last game against Hasbrouck Heights. They are looking pretty good this year. I think once we get into state's we can play with both of those teams.
NUC: I know you have attended some of the NUC combines what did you think of them and the competition?
TB: I would say out of any of the combines I have attended, NUC had the best competition. Which is a lot of fun. They also have great coaches, I have learned a lot from them. Especially being a center, I learned a lot of techniques on pass blocking. They were really helpful.
NUC: Now on to some personal questions, do you have a nickname?
TB: Well my real name is Anthony so I guess my nickname is Tony. The last nickname I probably had was in junior football where they called me the animal. Some people call me T but other than that I don't really have a designated nickname.
NUC: Favorite Musician?
TB: My favorite musician would be Kanye West.
NUC: What is your favorite Kanye song?
TB: Through the Wire
NUC: Favorite NFL team?
NUC: Favorite Professional Athlete?
TB: For center I like Nick Mangold but for other linemen Justin Tuck, Michael Strahan when he was in his prime, and JPP. (Jason Pierre-Paul)
NUC: Tell us something about you that nobody really knows?
TB: I play Guitar. Nobody really knows that. And it may not seem like it because I am a big tough lineman but I have a few cats. They are mostly my mom's but I like them.
NUC: Why do you love football so much?
TB: I have been basically playing since second grade. I remember playing soccer first but I absolutely hated it because you didn't get to hit anybody. Once I got those pads on I fell in love with it ever since then.
NUC: How's the recruiting process been going?
TB: It's going well. This past weekend I went to William & Mary to watch one of their games and visit. I'm going to try to make it down to Villanova next week or the week after. I'll probably go see UPenn. I'm starting to send out my highlights and film for the first three games. And we will see what happens with that. Most schools I have been talking to Rutgers and some others wanted to see my film.
NUC: Which teams have shown you the most interest so far?
TB: William & Mary. Also I went to a couple camps this summer. I went to UPenn, Harvard, and Rutgers it seems like I have always been in contact with them since my sophomore year. I have an offer from Bryant. Also I went to camps at Towson and Delaware this summer. There are also some D2 and D3 schools that seem really interested, but I really want to play D1 football.
NUC: So you said you were going to take some visits during the season, how about after the season?
TB: I liked to but I haven't really planned any yet.
NUC: Do you have any schools in mind that you will definitely visit?
TB: I really like William & Mary's campus and their football program. UPenn and Rutgers I would like to visit again. Academics are important to me. I'm looking for good academic and good football schools.
NUC: Have any teams told you they were close to offering?
TB: I've heard a little from Rutgers when I was working with EJ (Barthel). William & Mary seem pretty interested. They said they want me to send them my film and transcripts and that they would call me again. Because when I went to down to the William & Mary game there was a lighting delay, so I didn't get a chance to talk to the head coach. So I gave them a call and they said they are strongly looking at me. Right now I'm just waiting back on responses from my film of the first three games.
NUC: Did you have a favorite school growing up?
TB: One of my older brothers played at Bryant so I have always rooted for them. I have always rooted for UPenn, my brother went there. Rutgers since they were so close and Texas is a school I liked to root for when they had Vince Young.