Tennessee freshman defensive back Deion Bonner, who was one of the Southeast’s most-highly recruited college prospects before being arrested last year as part of a UGA lockerroom theft, has been named as the suspect in the campus theft of a cell phone.
Bonner, who played with Isaiah Crowell at Carver-Columbus High School, signed with Tennessee over Miami and Arkansas last February.
On Friday evening, Bonner had neither been arrested nor does he face any charges while the investigation proceeded at Tennessee, reported the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
According to a University of Tennessee Police Department report filed Wednesday evening, Bonner is alleged to have stolen a cell phone valued at less than $500 from a room inside the Health and Physical Education Building (HPER) on Tennessee’s campus earlier Wednesday.
After signing day last year, Tennessee coach Derek Dooley told the AJC that Bonner would be held to a higher code of conduct than other Tennessee players because of his past troubles.
“Well I don’t want to speak specifically for Deion but I will say it’s fair when you make mistakes in life, every time you make another mistake it’s not like that prior mistake didn’t happen,” Dooley said. “It’s no different than how we sentence and how we punish people in our criminal system. I mean, a guy who is a first-time offender is not going to get the same punishment as a guy who has done it three or four times. So, Deion knows he’s coming here with already a bad mistake under his belt. It will be a little different if somebody else makes a mistake, versus what he does. I think that’s human nature.”
Following the arrest at UGA, Bonner faced several penalties, including being suspended for the first five games of his senior year at Carver-Columbus.
This year at Tennessee, Bonner has appeared all seven games on special teams.
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