'Business decision': Alabama WR Isaiah Bond commits to Texas

Jalen Milroe connects with Isaiah Bond for a big Alabama first down (0:27)

Jalen Milroe airs it 34 yards to Isaiah Bond for a big first down for Alabama after halftime. (0:27)

Alabama transfer wide receiver Isaiah Bond has committed to Texas, which he called a "business decision" in the wake of coach Nick Saban's retirement.

"Just like the business world, you make the best decision for your company," Bond told ESPN in a phone interview Sunday. "My company right now is my draft stock. I feel like I'm putting myself in position to increase that and have better draft stock."

Bond, who just completed his sophomore year, visited Texas this weekend and committed to the staff during the visit.

Bond was the first Alabama player to enter the NCAA transfer portal upon Saban's retirement.

Also on Sunday, wide receiver Jaime Ffrench Jr., the No. 13 overall recruit in the 2025 ESPN 300 rankings, decommited from Alabama, he told On3.com. Ffrench follows five-star receiver Ryan Williams from the 2024 class in decommitting since Saban's retirement.

Bond will play for Steve Sarkisian, a former Alabama offensive coordinator who led Texas to the College Football Playoff in his third season in Austin.

Bond said his reason for leaving Alabama was directly tied to Saban's retirement. He had committed to stay another year and then reversed course after the sudden announcement.

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

Bond said new Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer reached out and that he didn't get back to him. Bond said Sarkisian recruited him hard to Texas out of high school and they regained that connection quickly this weekend. He said Sarkisian, who is Texas' offensive playcaller, is one of the best offensive minds in college football.

"I like the whole package that comes with it," Bond said of Texas. "Great quarterback, they have a great offensive line. I felt like it was a great spot for me to come to."

Bond led Alabama in catches this season and will be one of Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers' primary targets in 2024. Bond was an ESPN top-100 recruit who finished this season with 48 catches, 668 yards and four receiving touchdowns.

He is a 5-foot-11, 182-pound receiver who will enter the 2024 season as a true junior and amid the top grouping of wide receivers for the 2025 NFL draft. Bond was on the receiving end of one of the 2023 season's most famous plays, snaring the fourth-and-31 touchdown pass on the play known as "Gravedigger" to beat Auburn.

Bond should be in better position to catch more passes in 2024. In one fewer game, Ewers threw the ball 110 more times than Jalen Milroe.

Asked whether catching balls from Ewers was an attraction, Bond said: "One hundred percent. He's a great big-time pocket-passer quarterback. He's a top pick in the draft next year. I'm also going to be a top pick. It's going to be a good duo."

Joining Texas should give Bond a chance to showcase his skills in a wide-open offense that will be heavily reliant on the pass.

Ewers announced this week that he is returning for his senior season, a move that will project him among the top of the 2025 draft class. Texas also brings back an experienced offensive line, led by left tackle Kelvin Banks, a rising junior who projects as a top tackle in 2024.

Texas loses its top three wide receivers from this season and its top five pass-catchers (Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell, Jordan Whittington, tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders and tailback Jonathon Brooks) to the NFL.

Texas has also added former Houston wide receiver Matthew Golden in this transfer class. He had 13 touchdown catches in two seasons for the Cougars. Texas also has expressed interest in Oregon State transfer Silas Bolden.

Bond said along with clicking with Sarkisian, he is looking forward to working under wide receivers coach Chris Jackson, who has five years of experience coaching NFL receivers.

"It was really a business decision," Bond said. "I'm not taking any hatred in my heart. Nothing personal. I'm going to do what's best for me and my family."