Coach Speak: Antonio Bell

There simply aren't a lot of players that play four years of varsity football. When you come across it you know that player is special. Antonio Bell got moved up to varsity as a freshman and made an impact against some of the best teams Florida. Coach Oglesby says that between Bell's strengths and the level that he has played at already that it's possible you might see Bell next year.

Nebraska graduated four, scholarship receivers this year and there will be a chance to come in and play early among the recruiting signees. Coach Oglesby, from Daytona Beach (Flor.) Mainland, says that Antonio Bell has a chance to be one of those receivers

"Having Antonio has been great," Coach Oglesby said. "Coming from a great line of receivers, Antonio came up quick. He didn't have a lot of choice, after having lost two receivers that year, Antonio had to play as a freshman.

"He picked right up from that point. We had a couple of senior receivers get into trouble and get kicked off of the team. Antonio was moved up from the junior varsity, he never played freshman, about week six.

"His first game was against Hollywood Chaminade. Chaminade is a pretty good school. That was his first touchdown. He caught his first touchdown against Chaminade."

Playing as a freshman, regardless of the circumstances, is special. Coach Oglesby said that there are some key things that makes Bell a great receiver.

"Antonio has football smarts and then he has the hands to play receiver. Antonio is also a great route runner. He doesn't look like he runs that fast, but I was with him at the Florida camp when he ran a 4.49/40.

"Bell also has great leaping ability. He is a state qualifier as a triple jumper and in the long jump. From that, you can tell that he is really explosive as a receiver and is a great athlete."

No matter how long you have been playing varsity football in high school there are always going to be things that you need to do to get ready for college. Coach Oglesby said that Bell just needs to be focused and play within his abilities.

"Oh wow, I have to think about that a bit. He's so polished. He's unlike any other high school receiver I've seen. He's gone against D-1 DBs. He's gone against a lot of players that are now D-1 DBs. As long as he has his mind into it, I think that he can come right in and play."

Bell has been holding a Nebraska offer for a long time. The original offer came from under Bill Callahan very early in the process. Bell committed to Tennessee and was off the market for such a long time.

However, there was a relationship between the new staff at Nebraska and Mainland High School. That's why when Nebraska entered the program that it was a very easy relationship to strike up again.

"Our head coach just knows so many other coaches around the nation. He already knew most of the new coaches that were coming in. The transition for us was easy and it was good knowing all of those guys at Nebraska."

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