From early childhood, Grant Bonner had dreams of being a college football player. He also had dreams of being a college basketball player. At West Virginia State University, he’s going to get the opportunity to do both.
Bonner, a Herbert Hoover High graduate, signed with WVSU on Wednesday and earned spots on both the football and basketball teams.
“I’m just happy I can prove the work ethic I put in,” he said. “I hope I can contribute to both teams and keep working hard.”
Bonner earned a football scholarship despite playing only his junior year with the Huskies. Yet WVSU football coach John Pennington looked past the relative inexperience and saw Bonner’s athleticism. That’s what intrigued him and made Pennington offer him a spot as a receiver.
“What he told me was he could work with my athleticism and speed,” Bonner said. “He can convert a basketball player into a football player. I worked out for him and he thought I did certain things really well.”
Bonner has spent much more of his high school career on the basketball court. Herbert Hoover’s leading career scorer, Bonner spent four years as a starter for the Huskies and was part of the school’s first boys basketball team to qualify for the state tournament.
He participated in a workout with other prospects, and Yellow Jackets basketball coach Bryan Poore told him he could be a solid contributor to his team.
Double duty won’t be easy for the Hoover grad. He’ll enter one of the better rosters in the Mountain East Conference in both sports. He’ll also have to buckle down and study more of the nuances of playing receiver.
He’s also entering college athletics at a very strange time. COVID-19 already had split the fall sports season in the MEC. Fall sports won’t start competing until October and play games originally scheduled for September in the spring semester. Regardless, Bonner can’t wait to start his path as a Division II athlete.
“It’s different for sure, not knowing when I’m going to be able to start this dream I’ve had for my whole life,” he said, “but I pray to God it comes sooner than later and I can fulfill my dreams.”