For Whom The Bell Tolls?

One of the biggest questions this recruiting season among the in-state prospects is where will be where safety Tony Bell chooses to attend college.

Alabaster, Ala.--Life is busy right now for Thompson High star Tony Bell. In addition to wrapping up schoolwork before Christmas break and playing basketball for the Warriors, his house has also been a runway for college coaches coming through to talk to him about their respective programs.

Bell says in the last week alone he's had a who's who of coaches in for visits.

"It's going pretty good," Bell tells Inside The Auburn Tigers of the recruiting process. "Coach Fulmer (Phil Fulmer from Tennessee) came by last night. Coach Chizik (Gene Chizik) and Price (Terry Price) of Auburn have been by, Coach Fisher (Jimbo Fisher) and Muschamp (Will Muschamp) from LSU have been by, Coach Hobby (Marion Hobby from Ole Miss), Coach Garner (Rodney Garner from Georgia) and a few others have also been by."

Tony Bell has good size and good speed and the ability to make big plays.

One of the top safety prospects in the South, the 6-2 1/2, 205 Bell had an impressive senior season despite missing several games because of an ankle injury. Playing in just over five games he finished with nearly 70 tackles, four interceptions and two touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to keep the colleges coming to the town just outside of Birmingham to watch Bell in action.

Bell has set his visit list and it's an impressive one with SEC schools from one to five. The first trip has already taken place as the speedy safety visited Oxford last week to see Coach David Cutcliffe and the Ole Miss Rebels. He says the visit went "well" even though he didn't always feel that way. Bell notes that he's looking forward to taking the next four before making a decision.

"It went pretty well actually, but I was sick for almost the entire weekend," Bell says of his Ole Miss trip. "January 9th I'm going to Georgia, the 16th I'm going to LSU, the 23rd is Auburn and the 30th is Tennessee."

A frequent visitor to Auburn since last summer when he camped on the Plains, Bell has made his presence known at many Tiger games. He says that Auburn's lack of production at safety is one of the things that has Coach Tommy Tuberville's squad high on his list and nothing that has happened the last few weeks surrounding the program has had an impact on his recruitment or interest in the Tigers.

"It hasn't affected them in any way," Bell says. "I really like the safety situation there. I think I can come in and play early with that kind of situation."

Using his quickness to his advantage, Bell is currently playing small forward for Thompson and is averaging 15 points per game for the 5-5 Warriors.


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