The last two years of Jordan Bonner’s life has been filled with life-changing tragedy, yet the Kentucky outside linebacker continues to push ahead and is prepared to make this year his best yet.
The eventful story starts with the birth of his first son, Joel. An experience that usually changes one’s life for the better, it nearly killed Bonner. Joel’s mother’s father stabbed Bonner multiple times in the chest. Doctors told him he was one inch away from death.
“If I wasn’t built the way I was built,” he told Saturday Down South, “it could’ve been my last day.”
While recovering from the stab wound, Bonner was forced to miss the classes he needed to take to become eligible at UK. After scrambling, a Cleveland community college class allowed him to become eligible, but two months later than expected. The late arrival put him behind the eight-ball in the UK playbook, but Bonner was still able to contribute in 11 games in a reserve role and on special teams.
Prepared to make a jump in his second year in the system, Bonner was not prepared for what happened next. The day after he returned to Lexington this May, his father was rushed to the hospital. Initially, it didn’t sound that bad. Spencer, his father, said he was improving. Just another day and he’d be home, he reassured to his son. The next day he did not go home. His father passed away at age 54.
“I can tell you this,” Vince Marrow said. “That young man is gonna make it in life. I don’t know if I could’ve handled that at that age … have a kid, get stabbed, lose a parent. That tells me he’s a very strong-minded guy. I think his future is gonna be real, real good.”
Marrow isn’t the only one who thinks Bonner is due for a big year on the football field, despite what’s happened of it.
“Jordan Bonner completely shocked me, turned it around and became a baller,” Denzil Ware, the guy in front of Bonner on the depth chart, told KSR earlier this week. “He’s a baller. He’s a stud. He’s that guy. He’s capable of doing whatever that I’m capable of doing and even better.”
Bonner’s ability to focus on the field is remarkable considering everything that’s happened in his life.
This post only covered about a quarter of it. Read the Saturday Down South piece in its entirety and prepare to be shocked.