Bell Eager To Ring Up The Hits

Safety Tony Bell discusses his summer in Auburn and getting ready for his first season as a college football player.

Auburn, Ala.–-Since safety Tony Bell chose Auburn over Georgia, LSU and dozens of other schools, the Alabaster native has been on campus as much as possible.

Bell moved to Auburn in early June and has been working out with his new teammates every chance he could get. With practice beginning on Friday, he is one of the freshmen that Coach Tommy Tuberville says could have a chance to see early game action this season.

In addition to working out at AU, Bell took time to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game in Mobile along with several of his future teammates. During that time he became friends with both Steve Gandy and Michael McLaughlin, members of the Mississippi all-star team.

Gandy, who is also a safety, is entering school this fall with Bell. Despite some friendly trash talking back and forth between the two during all-star week, Bell says that it's all teamwork and business now and he's ready to get the season going beginning with the first practice on Friday morning.

"I have tried to keep it humble," Bell says. "We both played the linebacker position in the All-Star game. He's a pretty good person. I think he's a good player also. We're going to be competing, but there are a lot of good players like Tristan Davis, Steve, me, then you still have (Eric) Brock. Everybody is competing, but it's not going to be a loss because everybody is good."

A standout in both football and basketball at Thompson High, the 6-2, 201 Bell may have the skills to play right away at safety for the Tigers and that's what his goal is coming into the season. Although his physical talents are up to par, he says that he still has a long way to go in the weight room to be where he wants to be on the field.

"It's the hardest thing I have ever done in my life," Bell says of the summer workouts at Auburn. "But I'm doing it. It's nothing like high school. You do a lot more and it's a lot harder. You have to remember to hydrate yourself more.

"I have just put it in my heart that I'm not going to give up," Bell adds. "Anything that I do I'm going to do my best and give 100 percent."

A linebacker for much of his playing days in high school, Bell will try to make his mark in the secondary in college. With the speed to cover down the field and an aggressive attitude built from playing close to the line at linebacker, Bell says that he's ready to show what he can do right away.

"I like being aggressive," he says. "I like blitzing, hitting and playing the pass also. I think that is a good thing for me to do at free safety. I like taking angles, coming downhill and playing the pass. I haven't played it in a while so hopefully it won't take me long to get used to it."

With all the hype that being one of the more heavily recruited prospects in the South at his position can bring, Bell says that he knows he'll have pressure on him to perform as quickly as possible. He says that's the same pressure he'll put on himself to be the best he can be right away.

"Everything motivates you," Bell says. "When people talk motivates me. Knowing I can play motivates me. Knowing I have somebody better than me at my position motivates me. That's what drives me as a player."


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