Miami is known for its white-sand beaches, the Miami Heat and for producing some of the best football talent in the country; it is also the hometown of former Tiger cornerback Terrell Bonds.
Bonds, who helped Miami Central High School to a 13-1 record, a No. 8 national ranking and a state runner-up finish as a senior, chose to move 900 miles away from coastal paradise to the beautiful Music City in Tennessee. He would spend the next four years appearing in 41 games, starting 29, posting 95 tackles, 10 interceptions and 20 passes defended. He played his last game for the Tigers in Jacksonville, Alabama, and crossed the stage in May of 2018 with a Bachelor's degree, however, his football career was far from complete.
The corner went on to play for the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football's inaugural season, where he posted 16 tackles in eight games. Although the league folded, eight games was all Bonds needed to catch the eyes of key personnel in the NFL. He got the call from the Baltimore Ravens and is now entering his second season with the team.
He's spent his summer in Nashville training and took some time to answer a few questions with his alma mater.
Q: How has life been since graduating from Tennessee State?
A: Life has been great. It’s been a dream. I miss TSU. I had a good four years there, but life has been good, and I’m just looking forward to the future.
Q: What have you been doing this summer?
A: So far just training. That is all I do. Workout, train, watch film and play video games.
Q: Are you good at video games?
A: I really only play Madden and I’m undefeated. I don’t lose to anybody. Ever.
Q: What is your favorite TSU memory?
A: It had to be my senior year against EKU. I had a big game. I had a pick six. I really should’ve had four interceptions, but I dropped three of them. Overall, as a team, we had a great game.
Q: What is your favorite non-sports memory?
A: Graduating college. That’s a big accomplishment in anyone’s life. I’m happy I was able to graduate.
Q: Why'd you choose TSU?
A: I chose TSU because of family ties. It was a no brainer.
Q: Advice to the current student-athletes at Tennessee State.
A: Work. Work. Work. You’re already at an HBCU, so you’re being doubted and counted out. You have to do extra. You have to make more plays than anyone else. You have to be consistent. You have to do everything right.
Q: Who do you keep in touch with from your TSU days?
A: I talk to LaQuarious Cook every single day. Not a day goes by. Jo Johnson everyday. Chris Collins everyday. Marvin Maddox everyday. Chris Rowland and I have kept in touch because we’ve trained together a couple of times while I’ve been in Nashville. My other teammates too, but the other guys - everyday.
Q: How was playing in the AAF?
A: It really opened the door for where I am today. The small time I was there, I built relationships with guys that I’ll have for the rest of my life.
Q: What did you learn from going through the free-agency process?
A: I learned that it’s about getting just one opportunity from a team and taking advantage of it. There's alot of luck that goes into it, but once I got the opportunity I ran with it.
Q: What are you looking forward to this season?
A: I’m looking forward to helping my team win any way I can and hopefully get to the Super Bowl this year.
Q: What’s something no one else knows about you? (Answered by a friend)
A: He's really confident on the field, but when you first meet him, he’s very quiet. When I first met you, you weren't talking, but when he was on the field he talks and is more like, 'I'm that dude.'