Is Bell Open to Playing LB at UM?

Youngstown (OH) Liberty safety Isaiah Bell made his way up to Ann Arbor for the "Barbecue at the Big House" last weekend, and while on campus he faced what has become a very prevalent question about his playing future. Is he open to playing LB at Michigan?

Youngstown (OH) Liberty safety Isaiah Bell has traveled to Michigan’s campus on multiple occasions now, and the experience still hasn’t gotten old.  Last weekend he made his way back to Great Lake State for Rich Rodriguez’s first “Barbecue at the Big House” and the youngster was excited by the opportunity to connect with other future Wolverines.

“I went up with my grandparents so we got the tour of the (Schembechler Hall) and the coaches’ offices, and then we followed coach Gibby (i.e. Michigan DB coach Tony Gibson) to the barbecue,” said Bell.  “We ate inside then we got to walk out on the field and see the field and what’s being done to it.”

“I spent time everybody, but I was mainly with Justin Turner,” Bell continued regarding his fellow Michigan commitment.  “I was hanging with him for a while.  He beat me at Mario Cart on the (Nintendo) Wii (laughing).  Bryce McNeal beat me on the 360.  All of the commitments were hanging out with each other the whole time.  Teric Jones was there… he was hanging out too.  We were all talking about how we can’t wait to play with each other and all of that.”

Bell also recalled another future Wolverine giving the uncommitted players the business about not having joined the Maize & Blue party yet.

“(Bryce Mcneal) was on them,” Bell reported.  “He was telling guys ‘you might as well just jump on board now because we’re going to be stacked in 09."

The prospects weren’t the only ones taking a little good natured ribbing.  Bell’s added brawn made him a target as well.

“When I got up there everybody was making jokes saying, “Yeah, if you keep getting bigger, you might be a linebacker,’” he remembered.  “All I could do is laugh and smile about that.  Coach Gibby was telling me that I should come up as soon as possible (after graduation).   That way I could (be in position) to play.  I’m a full fledged defensive player and I like to hit so it wouldn’t matter to me if I played safety or linebacker.  If I had a choice I would probably want to stay at safety.  But if they needed me, I’d go play linebacker.”

For now Bell is focused on continuing to improve his strength & conditioning in preparation for next season.

“I run track, but I also lift and train on my own,” he said.  “I’m also probably going to come out to the four-day (Michigan) camp with Coach Whit (i.e. his high school coach Jeff Whittaker).”


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