Hoover (Ala.) High defender and three-time state champion Christian Bell was one of Alabama’s top prospects in the 2015 class, but he’s one of the few elites from the group that wasn’t getting his first taste of college football over the summer and into the fall.
A plan to delay his enrollment, or greyshirt, was put in place between he and the University of Alabama at the tail-end of the recruiting process. That meant no football in the fall of 2015.
Football playing, that is.
“I’ve been helping my family coaching fifth graders and working out,” Bell said. “I’ve come a long way since July. Just learning how to approach them and teach them the right things. How to get them to do what the coach tells them to do and I get to see how coaches feel when I do something wrong.”
The perspective gained while sitting out combined with the influence on youth could change an eventual career path. Telling Scout he wanted to go into business or financing in December, now coaching could be in his future.
“Maybe, maybe. I’ve got to handle my business on the field and then when I’m done we will see,” Bell said. “I enroll at ‘Bama next semester, in the spring.”
Working out as much as he can in between coaching and keeping up with the undefeated 2015 Hoover Bucs, Bell has gained 15 pounds of muscle on his 6-foot-4 frame, closing in on the 240-pound mark.
But what was gained mentally over the last several months could be greater.
“It was just really humbling because it made me realize you never know when it could be your last play,” he said. “I’ve played football for seven years in a row, so it was hard at first, but I know that God has a plan for me and a wise man once told me patience is a virtue.
“This just makes me even more hungry.”
Bell says communication between he and Nick Saban’s staff has remained consistent despite the delay in his enrollment.
“I went up there a lot during the summer and it’s been good,” he said. “They tell me to stay in shape and be ready once January hits. Coach Lup (Tosh Lupoi) has been the main one, he’s my position coach. He’s a great coach, even better person. Always full of energy.”
In addition to claiming 11 high school state titled between football and track and field, Bell was a 2015 Semper Fidelis All-American and represented the Yellowhammer State against its neighbors to the west in the 2015 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
Scout Spotlight: Christian Bell