The Maryland staff handed out a couple class of 2017 defensive back offers recently, and one went to an emerging athlete from Bridgeton, N.J. Markquese Bell, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder who stars at safety and receiver, claimed his fourth verbal from UMD Sept. 14, joining the likes of Rutgers, Temple and Michigan.
“Honestly, it was a real big surprise – a big shock to me,” Bell said. “I didn’t even find out about it until a day after it happened. The head coach [Randy Edsall] he followed me on Twitter, but I didn’t hear anything until my coach told me about it at school. He said Maryland’s one coach [Keith Dudzinski] asked for my transcripts and all, and that I had the offer. So that was kind of a shock, but it was great to hear. I’m honored.”
Bell admittedly doesn’t know much about the Terps’ program, however. He said he hasn’t seen much of Maryland on TV, so he’s unfamiliar with their style or staff.
“I know they have the cool Under Armour uniforms, I know Stefon Diggs [Vikings] went there and I know they’re in the Big Ten,” Bell said. “But that’s pretty much it. I honestly haven’t really even been in contact with them yet. But now that I found out about the offer, I’ll reach out and see what’s up. I’ll learn more, and I’ll probably get down there for a visit, maybe after the season.”
The Bridgeton product went on to say he hasn’t been in touch with too many college coaches since the contact period opened Sept. 1. He said most programs want to review his film and transcripts before making a move.
“I do hear from Rutgers quite a bit; they hit me up on Twitter all the time,” Bell said. “And Michigan, they talk to me on Twitter a lot too. Temple hasn’t said much though.”
Bell has yet to visit any college campuses, but plans to be at Rutgers’ next home game. After that, he said he’ll attempt to make it up to Michigan.
“The Michigan offer was big,” Bell said. “I can’t wait to get up there.”
The Jersey recruit said his dream school is Alabama, but is “just hoping to get offers from anyone right now.” He’s claiming no early favorites and will let the process play out.
So far this season, Bell’s squad has played one game, the junior starring on both sides of the ball. He had 10 receptions for 138 yards and three touchdowns on offense, while recording seven tackles on defense.
“It was a great start for me, and hopefully I can keep it up,” Bell said. “I kind of would like to play receiver in college, though, because there’s just something about having the ball in your hands. I like safety, but I’d love to play receiver.”