Four days later, however, the three-star defensive end and his mother traveled back to campus to deliver some big news to Nick Saban.
"I talked to Coach Saban, my mom had asked him some questions and he told me, ‘I'm not forcing you to commit or anything; it's what you want to do,'" Bell said. "I told him I wanted to commit, he smiled, and he told me he was happy.
"She asked if they were going to stay true to the commitment and things like that."
The No. 42 defensive end prospect in America on Scout.com, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder knew for some time that Alabama would be the school he'd verbally pledge to.
"I just felt like it was the right thing to do, everything just clicked," he said. "Academics were big, how they develop their players, not just in football, but off the field, too."
As has been the trend with top prospects already with several offers he has coveted, committing early was a goal for Bell. He wanted to end the process before his senior season at Hoover began. It will enable him to focus on football and not recruiting as the Bucs look to take home a state title for the third straight season.
The pledge comes with a sense of relief.
"It's a lot of weight off my shoulders, I know where I'm going to go to school," he said. "I don't have to wonder if I want to go here or there…I knew on Saturday. It was just a feeling I had."
Though projected as a defensive end on Scout, Bell is destined for the second-level at Alabama, according to Saban.
"He was saying he likes my length, size, how I can rush the passer and play in space," he said. "I'll start off as a linebacker, at the JACK position. I kind of play that position right now (at Hoover), so I kind of know what to do."
Marlon Humphrey, who signed with ‘Bama in the class of 2014 from Hoover, played a role in Bell's timeline of late. He was with his former teammate on Saturday, but says the contents of the conversation each had "is a secret." There is a group of Hoover juniors that also hold Alabama offers, four-star linebacker Darrell Williams and three-star running back Bradrick Shaw, that Bell says he will try to help convince to commit to the Crimson Tide as well.
With his own recruitment, Bell says he is done with the entire process. He doesn't plan on taking any visits outside of Tuscaloosa.
"I'm committed to Alabama, that's it," he said. "I'm committed, so that's where I'm going."
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