The 6-3 185 George Bell prepped at San Diego High School, and due to his academic standing he didn't receive any offers from Division I schools and signed with Southern Oregon, a NAIA school. However, once there he realized that his talents should land him eventually at a Division I school and decided to attend nearby Southwestern junior college.
The Jaguars didn't necessarily have the same pedigree as other San Diego area junior colleges, but Bell had good reason to choose that school.
"Their head coach really wanted me," Bell said. "I always kept in contact with him and other (junior colleges) kind of fell off. I also liked how they run a spread offense. I'm very happy I went there, because it all turned out for the best.
Did it ever.
As a freshman at Southwestern, Bell collected 80 receptions for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns. He helped the Jaguars to a 7-4 record and a second place finish in the Mountain Conference.
"I really didn't think I would play this well until my sophomore year," Bell humbly stated. "When I had a lot of schools just piling up and calling me it did catch me off guard."
Nebraska, Colorado, Kentucky, Utah, and Arizona were some of the schools that offered him back in the spring. Arizona State, came late in the process and offered Bell just one week before his mid-June visit. Suffice to say that the first impression by the maroon and gold was a strong one.
"I felt a connection right away with Coach (Bryce) Erickson and Coach Yarber," Bell recalled. "The conversations weren't always about football. A lot of them were just about life. Other schools would talk about life too but you could tell they were doing it just to do it. But with the (ASU) coaches they really meant it.
"When I came on my visit and met all the coaches I got the same vibe. So I committed on the visit because I knew if I took any other visit that he wouldn't even matter. I knew that Arizona State is where I wanted to play. My mom was with me and she knew it was the right move for me."
Bell indicated that Kentucky and Fresno State continued to recruit him during his sophomore year, but he never entertained any notion of visiting them.
As the wide receiver saw the Sun Devils lose a handful or so of close games, he could certainly draw some parallels to the Jaguars finished who finished 4-6. "We were a play away from winning three, four more games." Bell commented. "We had a lot of freshmen on defense; our starting quarterback went down the first game and was out for four weeks so we played with a backup."
Despite all that, the wide receiver collected 54 catches for 805 yards and five touchdowns that year.
While Bell was going through that trying season, he didn't take any comfort in the fact that unlike many of his teammates he already had a scholarship secured in a BCS conference school.
"I'm a competitor and I don't like losing," Bell explained. "Yes, it was good to know that I was going to play next season at a Division I school, but I never thought about that. I was trying to focus on my last season at Southwestern and win some games. I didn't really think about Arizona State until after the last game of my season."
Watching the wide receiver's highlight film (seen here ) Bell's combination of physical presence and speed jumps right at you. Yet, the ASU newcomer also takes pride in blocking downfield. "I can play any spot on the field," he said of his skills. "I can run the short route or make the big play. Whatever the coaches need me to do."
Bell realizes that he only has two years to make an impact here in Tempe and hopefully help turn around a passing attack which had its fair share of deficiencies last season. This is why he resolved to work hard once he arrives here in the middle of next month and just like at Southwestern make the most of his opportunity.
"Of course I rather see Arizona State just tear it up last year," Bell said. "When I watched them I could see where I could help the offense. It didn't matter if they had a perfect season last year or not, I know I have to come in and compete and earn my spot. The more competition there is on offense, the better we'll be."
Date of Birth
San Diego, Calif.
Favorite TV Show
"Kill Bill Volume I"
"Jodice and R.Kelly"
Favorite Pro Team
Person you most admire
"My grandma. She taught us a lot and she had to deal with us when we were messing around in the house."
First Football Memory
"I scored my first touchdown in my Pop Warner game when I was ten. My mom was videotaping me and when I was going to score she was screaming and jumping up and down so she never really caught the play. That was the only copy too…"
One Thing most people don't know about me
"I like to listen to Soul music."
Why did you choose ASU?
"The family atmosphere."
Where do you want to be in ten years? "If I'm not playing in the NFL, I'd like to be a chef and open my own restaurant."