Birthdays may come every year, but Jamario Bell likely had his most memorable birthday Wednesday when received a scholarship offer to play football at the University of Arkansas.
Bell, a defensive lineman at Junction City, got the offer during a phone call with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema.
"It was a very exciting moment," Bell said. "One of my favorite, well, really my favorite college team offered me a scholarship and that was really a great moment to have on my birthday."
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound 2015 prospect said he recorded 87 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, five sacks and two interceptions last season. He also scored five touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball.
Bell credited his cousins that play for the Razorbacks, Arkansas defensive tackle Byran Jones and safety Alan Turner, for ever getting him to play football in the first place.
"I spent my seventh grade year with them and they really got me into football and got me started playing football," Bell said. "I look up to both Byran and Alan like brothers."
Bell also said Jones and Turner could add to his interest in playing for Arkansas. In fact, he said he ranked the Razorbacks "at the top" of his list at this point in his recruiting process.
"The program, the way things are going and the great coaching staff that is in place," he said. "Coach Bielema seems like a great guy and a great coach. I think that's where I want to go."
Jones, who has started 29 games in the past three seasons and has recorded 122 tackles, will get to play for Bielema's defensive line coach, Charlie Partridge, this season. Bell added the opportunity to get to play for Partridge, who helped develop NFL Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt, as one of the biggest reasons to be interested in playing for the Razorbacks.
"Coach Partridge, the first time I met him, he seemed like a great guy," Bell said. "I think he could really help me do big things. I'm really looking forward to that, because I think he can really help me progress as a player and could help me get to the next level."
Bell has drawn interest from Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas State, Florida State and Ole Miss. When he is not rushing quarterbacks on the gridiron, Bell plays basketball for the Arkansas Wings.
Bell offered on birthday
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