Texas football adds elite WR in Bama transfer Isaiah Bond

Texas football added an elite and proven talent to the receiving corps via the portal on Jan. 14 in former Alabama sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Bond.
Isaiah Bond, Texas football
Isaiah Bond, Texas football / John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian are proving to be in the process of reloading, not rebuilding, in the receiving corps this offseason. Texas added another massive piece to the receiving corps via the NCAA Transfer Portal on Jan. 14 in the former Alabama Crimson Tide sophomore standout wide receiver Isaiah Bond.

Sarkisian and the Longhorns staff added this portal commitment from Bond after the news emerged a few days ago of the retirement of the longtime legendary Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Saban's retirement was reportedly (per ESPN) the biggest factor why Bond left the Tide early this offseason.

""One hundred percent," he said. "That was the decision why I left.""

Isaiah Bond via ESPN

Texas football is reloading its receiving corps after landing Alabama transfer WR Isaiah Bond

Texas moved fast in this portal recruitment to get another impact receiver in their transfer class early in the 2024 offseason. Bond originally entered the transfer portal a couple of days after the news of Saban's retirement, on Jan. 12.

Bond's commitment to Texas comes the day after he started his visit to Austin this weekend. He arrived in Austin for his official visit to Texas this weekend on Jan. 13.

Texas has past connections with Bond

Sarkisian and the Longhorns recruited Bond when he was an elite high-four-star prospect at Buford (GA) High School in the 2022 class. He officially visited Texas during the 2021 offseason.

Bond has also faced the Longhorns twice in as many seasons during his two years at Alabama. He caught a 34-yard deep ball against the Longhorns when Texas beat Alabama by double digits in Tuscaloosa in Week 2 of the 2023 season.

The receiving corps adds another high-octane starter for the 2024 season

The second-year wideout Bond brings elite top-end speed and proven production at the highest level of college football for Alabama in the SEC to the Longhorns receiving corps. Bond led Alabama in receptions (48) and ranked second in receiving yards (668) and receiving touchdowns (4) in 2023.

He is a burner who ran track at Buford High School in Georgia. Bond ran around a 10.5-second 100-meter dash time and a sub-21.1-second 200-meter dash.

The 5-foot-11 and 185-pound frame Bond brings and how he threatens opposing defenses vertically makes him a natural fit in Sarkisian's offense.

Bond has tremendous acceleration and has greatly improved as a route runner in his two years at Alabama. His combination of speed and acceleration allows him to get over the top in the blink of an eye against opposing corners and safeties in coverage.

Bond's production on deep ball targets at Alabama last season proves just how potent he is at stretching the field for the offense.

In 2023, Bond was the only SEC underclassman to register over 300 deep receiving yards, four touchdowns, and no drops (per PFF).

Bond is also developing as a legitimate threat in the underneath passing game too. He's got the tools to be every bit as dangerous in space as someone like junior Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy. As long as Bond continues to develop as a route runner and his ability to adjust in-route, he will be as dangerous as any wideout in the SEC in 2024.

Wideouts as fast and elusive as Bond always have the potential to threaten opposing defenses in multiple different ways. Now that he'll be in Sarkisian's offensive system at Texas for the upcoming season, the full potential of Bond's skill set can be unleashed.

Bond had hands of glue in the SEC in 2023

Among the more underappreciated parts of Bond's game is how reliable his hands are. Not only was Bond a reliable target for Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe in the deep passing game last season, but he was also among the most consistent pass catchers of any wideout in the SEC.

Per SIS Data Hub, Bond only had one drop on the season and none in SEC play. He was one of just four wideouts in the SEC last season to have at least 30 receptions in conference play and zero drops.

Texas appears to be getting another reliable receiver who will catch essentially any remotely catchable-ball thrown his way if how consistent Bond's hands were at Bama in 2023 are any indicator.

Quinn Ewers has another top-end target in the receiving corps in the SEC in 2024

With the additions of Bond and the former Houston Cougars sophomore wide receiver Matthew Golden, Sarkisian has found two immediate impact transfers to make this receiving corps among the best and most talented in the SEC this year.

And with the return of redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers for another season at Texas in 2024, this offense has the makings of one of the most explosive in the SEC for this coming fall. Ewers getting another year to develop in Sarkisian's system with these elite receivers means Texas's passing game can be even better in 2024.

Ewers was already among the most improved quarterbacks in the Power Five year-over-year in 2023. As he gets more experience in this system, Sarkisian can open up the playbook and find more ways to exploit opposing defenses and get more of these big-time weapons in the receiving corps the ball out in space to make plays.

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