Chris Bell blows up at Penn State camp

At 6 foot, 4 inches tall, boasting 4.5 speed in the forty, Chris Bell was already one of the better perceived wide receiver prospects in the southeastern region. Well, since his visit to a Penn State camp, that perception might have suddenly changed. Not in a bad way, mind you, rather the opposite, because when most want to do well at camps, most end up feeling like they could have done better. I doubt anyone is saying that of what Bell pulled off, pushing his stock possibly through the roof.

At 6 foot, 4 inches tall and weighing right around 210 pounds, Chris Bell's 4.5/40 on grass is impressive. You don't expect someone of that size to be able to bolt out of the chute like say a Percy Harvin.


That stereotype or at least in this case, reputation, it's about to take a turn, because what Chris Bell churned out at his recent camp at Penn State, heads are going to nearly break, turning to take a look.


Chris said that he ran a 4.39 on his first attempt and he ran a 4.38 on his next one," Chris Bell senior said of his son tearing up the field turf at Penn State. "I know I didn't expect him to do anything  like that, but he has a habit of proving me wrong."


The most recent example of that was when Chris Bell was competing in a meet, running the 110 high hurdles, Chris's main event. After churning out a few 14.2s, 14.3s or somewhere around there, the elder Bell said that Chris jr. still had something to prove. "He said that he was just cruising in those, that he hadn't really ran like he knows he could have," Chris Bell senior said. "To be honest, I wasn't sure, because that was already pretty darn fast. I mean, he's got the record right now."


Chris had the record, but set a new one, running an eye-popping 13.9.


If you look at it on paper and have no real grasp of athletics, you will see the difference between a 4.5 and a 4.38 as basically just thirteen-hundredths of a second. To coaches, though, the difference between someone running a 4.5 and 4.38, it's a whole different ball game now.


Bell is already sitting on 13 offers, the most recent coming from the University of Florida. With the newfound jets that Bell has exhibited, that's probably going to climb.


The Bell family isn't worried about who has yet to offer, though, because their focus has and will always be on who's been in the game from the beginning. "Chris is getting ready to narrow his list and it's of schools that have offered him," the elder Bell said. "And of those, we obviously look very closely at those that have been the most consistent in showing Chris not just the attention, but the right kind of attention."


"Who will be there when something goes wrong? Who will be there for my son when he as a person needs someone to talk to or whatever the case may be?"


"Those schools that are the most consistent right now with that kind of attention, those are the ones that we are looking at the closest right now."


Bell said that of the baker's dozen his son has in offers, Penn State, Nebraska, Virginia and Michigan have been those kinds of teams, showing the kind of attention they prefer. And with the time narrowing down on determining those official visits, they are some of the better candidates to get one of the coveted five allowed.


The last time we talked, Bell, his wife and Chris himself all said that of the schools recruiting them, Virginia and Nebraska were making solid impacts as to what their message was and how much attention they were showing Chris. That hasn't changed, which prompts the elder Bell to say that while it's not set in stone, the Huskers look to be one of those teams that might get one of those official visits. "They have done all the right things thus far," he said. "We've been impressed with the attention they have showed Chris, plus the KIND of attention they have showed and how consistently they have been in the recruiting."


"So, right now, I'd say probably, Nebraska could be one of those visits. There's still time to think about this, other teams might come into the picture and ultimately it's Chris's decision where he visits, but I'd say they are in there right now."


With Chris's recent performance at the Penn State camp, it's logical to assume that the list of offers he has right now is going to expand. New teams, new offers, new opportunities and yes, new schools to research and get a feel for what they do and more importantly how they do it.


With the Bells already looking at narrowing the list very soon, though, so as to make sure as to where these official visits might go, what happens if other schools try to get into the mix? "That's Chris's decision about any new schools that get into this thing late,"  Bell Sr. said of deciding on how much interest new schools into the mix might get. "He's a big kid and we are going to leave a lot of decisions to him, so if new schools come in, we'll leave a lot of deciding how much of a chance they have with him up to him."


"Now, if it's a USC, we'd be stupid not to look, but there are schools that if they aren't in right now, an offer in the future won't matter; they still won't be in."


Chris Sr. did say that of the five official visits allowed, Chris Jr. will probably take a couple of early ones, because their own high school schedule should allow that, Chris's team competing twice on a Thursday. As to who those schools might be, there's still no concrete decision.


The only thing concrete for the Bells right now is Chris himself, who has just recently showed that he's still getting bigger, strong and especially, faster. And he's not going to stop there. "He strength trains everyday, speed trains everyday and he's working to get quicker as well," Chris Sr. said. "I have to admit that I have been surprised by some of what he has done, but he's not. He tells me this stuff before he does it, so I know that he sees where he can be."


"He's not done either, because he thinks that nobody is looking his way when we know they are. But, he's using it as motivation to get better."




Nebraska is still sitting with solid chances at a few of the better wideouts around the country, including Bell. Chris is currently ranked as the 6th best receiver overall by and another candidate, Lemoore, California's David Ausberry is sitting at number 10.


Pflugerville, Texas resident Terrell Reese is another prospect with the Huskers on his radar and Reese is currently ranked 13th.


Current Husker commit Menelik Holt isn't currently ranked in the top 20, but has already made the's Top 100 in the west and should be ranked at least in the top thirty once the full rankings are released.


Other prospects for Nebraska at the position are Donald Bowens of St. Petersburg, Florida, Hayo Carpenter of Ridgecrest, California, Garland, Texas' Terrell Turner, along with Anthony Houston of San Diego, Quinton Hancock of St. Augustine, Florida, Richard Sherman of Compton, California and DelaShaun Dean out of Fairfield, California.


An in-state prospect that could find himself on that list will be Derrick Russell, out of Northstar high school in Lincoln, Nebraska, a transfer from Omaha Central. At 6 foot, 4 inches tall, Russell showed very good athleticism during testing at a recent Nebraska camp and has a good shot at an offer from NU.

Big Red Report Top Stories