Youngstown (OH) Liberty S/LB Isaiah Bell entered last football season with visions of his team finishing atop a championship perch. During his final prep campaign he did everything in his power to help his team achieve that goal, but he and his teammates ultimately came up short. Along the way, however, Bell's play impressed enough notable observers to garner a great deal of postseason recognition.
"We finished 8-3 and were put out in the first round of the playoffs," he said. "As for me, I know I had at least 40 tackles for sure, I had four interceptions, a couple of pass break-ups, and a forced fumble. I got All-Ohio, All-County, All District, All-Conference."
Bell was also the recipient of an unexpected national honor… being selected to participate in the Under Armour All-American game.
"I'm pretty sure they told my coach (about the All American consideration), but he was cool about it," said Bell. "He didn't say much about it until after they gave me the call and let me know. It caught me off guard. I was excited. I was happy."
With his participation in that contest still weeks away, Bell's excitement in recent days focused more on his upcoming official visit to Michigan. With his latest trip now behind him, the Wolverine-to-be is pleased with chance he had to get much more familiar with his future teammates.
"We made it in Friday night between 8:00 and 9:00," Bell said recapping his visit. "Then I was with Michael Shaw (his host) and we went to the dorms and I met the other players. We just all talked and chilled basically."
The next day featured one of the most memorable aspects of the visit… the Wolverines' thrilling victory over the fourth ranked Duke Blue Devils.
"That was the biggest upset around," Bell said laughing. "That just shows that everybody has got a chance."
Both during and after the contest, Bell spent a great deal of time getting to know the other members of the 2009 recruiting class.
"Me and J.T. (Turner) hung out last time (during the visit weekend for the Michigan State game)," Bell stated. "This time we were at the (basketball) game together. We were sitting there talking for a while. I talked to Teric (Jones) a lot. I talked to William Campbell a lot. I think he is going to come to Michigan. He is a funny dude. I was talking to everybody. I talked to Thomas Gordon too."
"After the game we went to Coach Rod's house," Bell continued. "He just let us chill basically. We went downstairs and played his Playstation 3 and played pool. We got a tour of his house… all that. It was like a MTV Cribs house (laughing)."
Amidst all of the fun Bell also had ample opportunity to chat with the coaching staff about what the plan for him is once he gets to Ann Arbor.
"They said I'll play strong safety or linebacker," he recalled. "They said they want me close to the ball… and I want to be by the ball. They told me everybody will have a fair chance to play. It all depends on what we do when we come up."
When it comes to size and strength gains, the versatile youngster appears to be is well on his way to being ready. He plans to utilize the coming months to become even more prepared.
"I'm up to like 217 now," he said. "I'm playing power forward and center (on the basketball team). I'm not the biggest… just the strongest. (After basketball season) Still trying to decide whether I'm going to do track or lift."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Bell in the coming weeks.