Update: Braxton Bonds has been released from his National Letter of Intent at Liberty University, team spokesman Todd Wetmore told the News Sentinel on Sunday evening.
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Point guard Braxton Bonds of Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville will join the Tennessee men’s basketball team as a walk-on, according to a Hoosier Sports Live report published Sunday.
The report focused on 2016 prospect Braxton Blackwell, and mentioned Bonds as a footnote that might help the Vols in their recruitment of Blackwell.
Bonds is currently listed in UT’s online student directory. Students start the fall semester August 20.
UT men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall declined to comment on Bonds on Sunday. The Bonds family and Christ Presbyterian Academy coach Drew Maddux have not responded to phone calls from the News Sentinel.
Joining the Vols would be a change of plans for Bonds, the nephew of retired MLB slugger Barry Bonds. He signed a National Letter of Intent with Liberty in November 2013. Liberty, a Division I program that is a member of the Big South Conference, does not list Bonds on its roster.
If Bonds is to be added as a walk-on, something will have to change. UT trimmed the men’s basketball roster to 13 scholarship positions and two walk-ons headed into the 2012-13 season. Tyndall already has two walk-ons — Brandon Lopez and Galen Campbell — on his roster. He said Sunday those players will continue to be walk-ons.
A true point guard, Bonds could offer some help at a position of need. Scouting service 247 Sports ranked the three-star prospect as the No. 8 player in Tennessee for the 2014 class.
And then there is the potential Blackwell effect. UT is one of many schools chasing the four-star forward who also plays for Christ Presbyterian Academy. The Vols might become more appealing to Blackwell if Bonds does in fact join the team in some capacity.