"I had a great time," said Markquese Bell after his visit to Florida this weekend. "We got to see the indoor facility, the one that they just built, and I talked to head coach [Jim McElwain] a little bit and my position coach [Torrian Gray]. I also had a sit down with a few players."
The four-star athlete from New Jersey has exploded on to the recruiting scene picking up several SEC, ACC and Big Ten offers. Florida is one of the schools that is looking to reel in the versatile player. Although Bell knows the football tradition at the Swamp, what stood out the most in his trip to Gainesville was the balance University of Florida would offer.
"[The coaches were telling me] No matter what happens if I come to that school, if football doesn’t work out, I have a job and I can be successful in another field like after football," said Bell. "Injuries happen and football isn’t forever, sometimes things don’t happen like you want it to. It’s nice to know that if it doesn’t you can have people that have your back and help you be successful either way.
Torrian Gray is Bell's lead recruiter at Florida, however, Bell's relationship with Gray started a lot earlier when the assistant coached at Virginia Tech.
"He is a great coach," said Bell. "We talk everyday about important stuff like my grandma. She is very important in my life so he want to get to know her a lot. He also asks about personal stuff like it’s not all about football.
"That means a lot because a lot of people don’t take the time to talk to the people important in your life and talk only about football."
The Gators are recruiting the athlete as a defensive back, and although some schools see him as an athlete or wide receiver, Bell has no preference on which position he will play at the next level, "doesn’t really matter to me, I just want to play."
Bell hopes to study physical therapy or sports management in college, hopes to find a school that not only offers strong education, but also a chance for him to compete on the gridiron.
"Just somewhere where I know I will be successful and playing time."
No matter where they are located.
"I really haven’t considered that," he said. "I just want to feel comfortable at the school. If I really feel comfortable at a school and they have everything that I need, distance wouldn’t matter."
Bell claims no favorites at this time, and is planning to visit UCF with his 7-on-7 team on their way back up to New Jersey this weekend.
UCF on the way back to Jersey.