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July 13, 2010One of Auburn's 2010 signees expected to make the quickest impact on the field is four-star Fullerton (Calif.) Community College defensive end Joel Bonomolo.
After a road that took the 6-foot-2, 245-pound prospect from his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana to Fullerton, California for junior college, Bonomolo is finally ready to play big time college football as an Auburn Tiger.
"I wasn't worried about it," Bonomolo said. "I was already admitted and could have gone to summer school, I actually drove half way out there to Alabama and then turned around. Now I'm just training and preparing for the season."
Bonomolo said head coach Gene Chizik advised him not to rush to Auburn for summer school, and instead take some time off and continue to train to be prepared for fall camp while he waited on the official letter of admittance from the NCAA.
"I was actually admitted for the summer, but coach Chizik just decided it was best for me to take the summer off," Bonomolo said. "I took 29 hours in the winter and spring semesters and I was burnt out on school. They just decided it was best for me to stay here and work out and get ready."
Bonomolo said there's no doubt in his mind that he'll be ready when he reports for fall practice on August 3rd.
"I'll be ready. I'm flipping tires, pulling tires, all kinds of crazy stuff," Bonomolo said. "Bunch of band work, everything you can imagine. I go six days a week."
Even though the big defensive end was pretty sure he was good to go, it was still a relief to get the final word.
"It was good to know when everything was confirmed," Bonomolo said. "I knew I was going to get in, but it's great to have everything done. I took 29 hours to get in, I've always struggled in school, but it's a big accomplishment for me."
Goal number one for Bonomolo will be contributing immediately, and don't tell him that starting isn't an option. With Auburn returning only two experienced upper classmen at defensive end, Bonomolo has a chance to make an impact right away.
"I'm going to do everything in my power to start," Bonomolo said. "I want to play, contribute to the team, whatever I can do to help the team win."
Bonomolo plans to report to Auburn on August 1st, and then be ready for practice on August 3rd.