Tony Bell walks you through his unofficial visit
Tony Bell is one of the most sought after defensive back's in the south. He may play linebacker on the next level, but right now he is being told safety. He has an offer list to rival anybody around, but he has narrowed his list to LSU, Georgia, Auburn, and Tennessee. On Saturday, he visited one of those favorites for the very first time. Where exactly did he go?
"I went to Georgia for the Auburn game. It was the only one of my favorites that I hadn't seen yet, so I wanted to go up there and check it out," Bell said.
Tony gives us a first hand account of his day with the Dawgs..
"We left home at 7:30am their time, and got there in about 4 hours. We went to the recruiting office and waited for a little while. Then I went and ate, and I got my 'Georgia Girl' (hostess). We met up with Coach Garner who's recruiting me, and we talked for a long time. He took me to Coach Richt's office, and I saw the other defensive coaches also. Later, we went and did the Dawg Walk. When it was over, we got to go on the field and watch the warm-ups. I went into the locker room and saw the pregame speech. Then we watched the game. When it was done, I was supposed to stay longer, but it was already late."
What were Tony's impressions?
"I really liked it. The whole thing was really good. I thought it was going to be a close game, but Georgia's defense was too much for them. I liked the town and the big college city atmosphere. I'd say it brought them up on my list a bit. They were probably 3rd behind LSU and Auburn before I went. Now, I'd say it's sort of open amongst them (Georgia, LSU, & Auburn) for the most part."
What did Bell like best about his trip to Athens, GA?
"The best thing was getting to know the coaches. I talked to Coach Garner a lot, and I got to sit in Coach Richt's office. Coach Martinez and Coach Van Gorder came up to me also."
What did they tell the blue chip Safety?
"Most of them talked about how big of an impact I could make if I went there. How they needed safeties, and how I could fit in that role."
What did he think of the speech prior to kickoff?
"He did a good job. I really liked the part when they all turned out the lights and walked back near the showers to pray before the game."
What has been Bell's favorite unofficial to this point?
"LSU was the best probably. The fans and the atmosphere were really good there. I liked how they would stay behind their team even when things went bad. LSU was cheering and encouraging a guy when he messed up."
Might that visit give the Tigers a slight advantage?
"I'd say they're the team to beat. I could just see myself playing for Coach Saban. But, that is why I worry a little bit too. I like Coach Richt because he just signed an 8 year extension, and I know he's going to be there a long time. I'm scared Coach Saban may leave. He just has rumors about him leaving a lot. I want to ask him about that on my official visit and see what he says."
Where and when is Tony going on his official visits?
"I have one to Auburn this weekend, but I may have to reschedule. Georgia is January 9th, LSU is January 16th, and Tennessee is January 23rd. The other one will either be Ole Miss, Clemson, or Alabama."
While LSU has the lead, there are 4 other schools who will attempt to change his mind when he visits their campus in the coming months. The Alabama standout expects to make a commitment closer to February, and that will leave coaches and fans alike sweating his final decision until the bitter end.
TheInsiders.com will keep you up to date on every change in Tony Bell's recruitment right up through signing day 2004.
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