“Business Decision” – Alabama WR Isaiah Bond commits to Texas

Alabama wide receiver Isaiah Bond has committed to Texas, which he called a “business decision” in the wake of coach Nick Saban's retirement.

“Just like in the business world, you make the decision that's best for your company,” Bond told ESPN in a phone interview on Sunday. “My company now is my draft stock. I feel like I'm putting myself in a position to increase that and have better stock.”

Bond, who just finished his sophomore year, visited Texas this weekend and committed to the staff during the visit.

Bond was the first Alabama player to enter the NCAA transfer portal after Saban's retirement. He would end up playing for Steve Sarkisian, the former Alabama offensive coordinator who led Texas to the College Football Playoff in his third season in Austin.

Bond said his reason for leaving Alabama was directly related to Saban's retirement. He committed to staying on for another year and then reversed course after a surprise retirement.

“One hundred percent,” he said. “That was the decision that made me leave.”

Bond said new Alabama coach Calen DeBoer reached out to him and did not get back to him. Bond said Sarkeesian recruited him aggressively at Texas out of high school, and they quickly reconnected this weekend. He said Sarkisian, an offensive tackle at Texas, is one of the best offensive minds in college football.

“I like the whole package that comes with it,” Bond said of Texas. “Great quarterback, they have a great offensive line. I felt like it was a great place for me to come.”

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Bond led Alabama in catches this season and will be one of Texans quarterback Quinn Ewers' primary targets in 2024. Bond was an ESPN Top 100 recruit and finished that season with 48 catches, 668 yards and four receiving touchdowns.

He is a 5-foot-11, 182-pound receiver who will enter the 2024 season as a true freshman and the middle of the top group of wide receivers for the 2025 NFL Draft. Bond was on the receiving end of one of the most famous plays of the 2023 season, catching his fourth and 31st touchdown passes in The play known as “Gravedigger” to beat Auburn.

Bond should be in a better position to catch more passes in 2024. In one fewer game, Ewers has thrown the ball 110 more times than Jalen Milroe.

Asked if catching balls from Ewers was an attraction, Bond said: “One hundred percent. He's a great pocket-passing quarterback. He's the top pick in next year's draft. I'd be a top pick, too. He'd be a good pairing.”

Joining the Texans should give Bond a chance to showcase his skills in a wide-open offense that will rely heavily on the pass.

Ewers announced this week that he will return for his senior season, a move that would put him among the top draft class of 2025. Texas also returns an experienced offensive line, led by left tackle Kelvin Banks, a rising junior who is expected to be a top prospect in 2024.

The Texans lose their top three wide receivers and top five players from this season's team to the NFL: Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell, Jordan Whittington, tight end J'Tavion Sanders and tailback Jonathon Brooks.

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The Texans also added former Houston wide receiver Matthew Golden in this transfer class. He had 13 TDs in two seasons for the Cougars. Texas has also expressed interest in Oregon State transfer Silas Bolden.

Besides clicking with Sarkisian, Bond said he is looking forward to working under wide receivers coach Chris Jackson, who has five years of experience coaching NFL receivers.

“It was really a business decision,” Bond said. “I hold no hatred in my heart. Nothing personal. I will do what is best for me and my family.”

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