Linebacker Hawatha Bell knows he is a priority recruit for many schools and he plans on giving everyone a shot at making their case as the recruiting process rolls on. He recently picked up a big offer, and while he is keeping his options open he does have four official visits in mind.
The 6-1, 227 pound prospect from Matthews (NC) Butler has received most of his offers from
schools in the South, but a new school has jumped into the fray, solidifying his status as an elite
recruit on the national stage.
"I recently picked up an offer from Michigan," Bell told PackPride in a recent interview. "I'd say
that was probably like two weeks ago. They just called me to let me know. I know it's a big
school and they have a lot of tradition. Their defense has a lot of tradition. Right now I'm just
waiting to see what their new coach from West Virginia is going to do."
While tradition may be a plus to Bell, it appears as though he would prefer not to leave the region.
"Location doesn't really matter too much to me. If I have to I'll go to a place like Illinois or
Maryland but I would prefer to stay in the South."
It's too early to start talking about a decision, however. Bell plans on taking his official visits and
announcing his college destination closer to National Signing Day. He already knows of four
schools he would like to officially visit. Who is on that list?
"The schools I would like to go to are Virginia Tech, South Carolina, UNC and NC State," he
said. "That's about it for now. I don't have any favorites but those are the officials I'll probably take.
"Basically I'm going to be looking at playing time, how well I connect with the coaches,
academics and that's about it. I want to major in physical education."
The only coaches Bell has spoken to recently are North Carolina defensive coordinator Everett
Withers and South Carolina tight ends' coach Ray Rychleski. He plans on staying in more frequent
contact with coaches from all the schools recruiting him once the season starts.
For now, Bell is focused on preparing for his senior season.
"I haven't really done too much this summer," he explained. "Right now we have a little mini
camp. We did a couple of 7-on-7's a couple of weeks ago, but our camp now is from 8 o'clock
until 11 o'clock in the mornings. I'm working on improving my speed."
If he improves his speed his stock will soar even higher than it already is. Bell said he has been
clocked at 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
While he does not have any favorites at the moment, it appears as though Bell will take an official
visit to NC State, so the Pack is in the hunt. What does he think about Tom O'Brien's program?
"I'm looking at NC State because they have a winning program but at the same time they have
good academics. There are a lot of good players that come out at NC State, so I'm definitely
looking at them."
He is currently rated the No. 15 middle linebacker in the nation by Scout.com