Florida DE Alvonte Bell Talks Illini Offer

The Fighting Illini football team has enjoyed success with its defensive line in recent years, and that has been proven by popularity in the NFL draft. Whitney Mercilus was named the top defensive end in the country after the 2011 season, and upcoming senior Michael Buchanan has similar potential. Floridian Alvonte Bell has an Illini offer as a possible replacement.

Alvonte Bell is a defensive end for Everglades High School in Miramar, Florida. He has received several high major scholarship offers.

"I have offers from SMU, Notre Dame, West Virginia, FIU, Louisville, Clemson, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, FSU, Kentucky and Illinois. I've also been receiving interest from schools like Miami and Alabama."

He has no favorites at this point.

"I cant decide which schools I like best because they all appear to be great schools."

Bell has abilities that lend themselves well to being a pass rushing defensive end.

"My speed and the ability to chase the play are my biggest assets."

However, the 6'-5", 220 pounder recognizes a couple flaws he wishes to correct.

"My size is a weakness. I need to get a little bit bigger. And I need to work on my technique a little bit too."

Bell did well in his first varsity action, although his team had mixed reviews.

"We went 4-6, which wasn't great. But it went great for me. It was my first varsity season, but it could have been my second if I had my grades right last year."

How are his grades now?

"I am doing better this year by maintaining them. After this last quarter, it shouldn't be a problem."

He believes his team will have a great record in 2012.

"As a team, I think we will do a lot better than we did this past year now that we have a mostly senior team. We all know what we want: a state title."

Bell also expects to show off his talents this fall.

"Next year is going to be good. I'm going to be bigger and faster for the football season, improve off the past season. Hopefully I sign to the college best for me and coast the rest of the year."

Bell has some familiarity with Illinois.

"I liked the running back they had a couple years ago, Mikel Leshoure. I also like their defense and how they have good defensive ends."

Illini assistant coach Tim Salem is recruiting him.

"To me, he seems like a good man and coach who is trying to build a better team with the high school players he feels will make an impact on the team."

Can you see yourself playing under him?

"I can. Definitely."

Bell may not fit the definition of a hand-on-the-ground defensive end, but the Leo spot at Illinois might be ideal. The offensive side of the ball may be another option.

"I think my position might get switched. Defensive end is possible, but I'm probably more of a hybrid or possibly tight end."

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