Bell Up to Five Offers

Rich Bell came home from Salisbury, Conn., this week to travel with his father Dick across the country to look at a group of potential suitors for the young two-way standout. Bell visited five schools on the voyage and ultimately came away with two more offers to add to his growing list.

Cincinnati, Kentucky, Western Michigan, Toledo and Ohio all received visits from Rich Bell and his father this week on a road trip the two had planned for several months to check out some perspective schools. The 6-foot-2, 271-pound defensive tackle/center picked up two more scholarship offers in the process and is now closer to making a decision near the end of summer. We spoke to both Bell and his father about the recent visits and caught up on his current situation.

"Our first stop was to Cincinnati and they are not taking any interior defensive linemen in this class, so we went to Kentucky from there," Dick Bell said. "The first thing that Kentucky was really impressed with was Richie's size. Some schools were under the impression that he wasn't as tall as he was listed and he measured in a hair under 6-foot-2 at every school we visited. Kentucky said they'll be kicking a few of their defensive ends inside this year and are recruiting defensive ends, so they couldn't use him there, however the offensive line coach took him aside and said they will be looking at him as a center going forward."

"After Kentucky we went to Western Michigan and it was really a great experience up there," Bell explained. "The coaches were great with us and like I said, it was just a good experience. The staff has now offered Richard a scholarship to Western Michigan and I know he is very excited about that."

"The last two schools we visited were Toledo and Ohio," Bell added. "Again, the people at Toledo were very impressed with his size and think he could play any of the four positions along their defensive line. Since we have been home he has received an offer from Toledo. Ohio was a beautiful place. If you had to make a movie of what a college campus should look like that would be it. Everything was just beautiful there. They had already offered Rich, so he spoke with Coach Carl Pelini for a while and then we came home."

Bell is also waiting on Kansas and SMU at this point before he can go any further into the decision making process. Kansas is in the process of reviewing his transcripts from Salisbury School right now and SMU is still in the process of evaluating film on several prospects, Bell being one of them. Depending on feedback from those schools the two plan on flying out to Kansas and SMU later this summer and Bell hopes to have a decision made by August 1st, however that is not set in stone. We spoke with him briefly to see how he felt about the programs he saw this week.

"I was impressed with what all the programs had to offer," Rich Bell said. "The coaching staffs at all of the schools were very nice and I was also very impressed with the facilities at Western Michigan and the campus at Ohio. I wish I could have spent more time at Toledo, but we were trying to keep on schedule the best we could. Ohio and Western Michigan stood out to most to me of all the schools we were at and I think the MAC fits me well."

Bell now holds offers from Akron, Ohio, Western Michigan, Toledo and Northeastern. As a junior, Bell made 83 tackles, 15 of which were for a loss, had four sacks and recovered three fumbles.

Bell has been officially observed doing 32 reps of 185 pounds and 24 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. He was also timed at 4.86 in the 40-yard dash, 4.23 in the short shuttle and has a 27-inch vertical.

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