Originally from New Orleans, La., Bonomolo graduated from Rummel High School in 2007 and enrolled at Fullerton in the spring of 2008. He had an opportunity to sign with Southern Illinois out of high school, but didn't meet the academic requirements and instead went to the California junior college. He earned second-team all-conference honors as a freshman for Fullerton in 2008.
"Joel is a stud. I consider Joel the best d-end I get to go against all season. I get to go against the best d-end in the state everyday at practice. He's strong. He's a well-built kid. You look at him and say, 'man, that kid is put together'. He's fast, athletic. He's got the mental toughness. He's aggressive." — Fullerton OT John Cullen