Bell Delivers Commitment to UNC

Corey Bell quietly visited North Carolina on Tuesday with one purpose – to verbally commit to the Tar Heels.

"I came in here and talked to Coach [Gunter] Brewer and I sat down with Coach [Dan] Disch and went over film for about an hour," Bell said. "And then I went in to talk to Coach [Larry Fedora] and that's when I did it.

"He was shocked, because at first I was telling him I still had to take one more visit to Virginia Tech. And then after that I said ‘I don't need to do that anymore, because I'm committing to you.' He was shocked by that, but he was excited.

"I came up here to see some coverages, but I knew this is where I wanted to go."

Bell, a 5-foot-9, 168-pound cornerback from Cornelius (N.C.) Hough, selected UNC over offers from Duke, NC State, and Virginia Tech.

"I can just see myself here [at UNC] for four years without a doubt," Bell said. "I just didn't have the feeling that I had here like I did when I went to different places. So I just felt like this was the place."

UNC offered Bell shortly after his performances during Fedora's Freak Show last June. That was his first visit to the campus, so the staff had some ground to make up.

"I started to lean towards them recently, because before I didn't have anything that stuck out," Bell said. "But the more I came here and enjoyed my time here I just realized it was the place for me."

Subsequent visits to UNC included a football game against East Carolina and the February junior day, which was held in conjunction with the basketball game against Duke.

Unlike the aforementioned trips, Bell says Tuesday's visit was purposely kept private. Furthermore, he hid from the Tar Heels' staff his intentions to commit during the visit.

Helping Bell feell at home at UNC was the tag team of Brewer, who recruits the Charlotte area for UNC, and Disch, the Tar Heels' cornerbacks coach.

"My relationship with them is close," Bell said. "I can already see myself being here. It just made it a lot easier, because they seem like more than just coaches."

Disch expects Bell to grow into a shutdown cornerback for UNC.

"They like my technique and they said I'm ahead of the game as far as technique wise," Bell said. "They told me I just need to get the body type and gain weight. They play the best players and their players compete so it's all up to me – and I like that."

Bell plans to act as an extension of UNC's recruiting efforts, beginning with teammate and close friend Carl Tucker. He also plans to reach out to Randleman (N.C.) wide receiver Juval Mollette.

Bell is the fifth verbal commitment UNC has received in the 2015 class and third in a little over a week. Chris Clark pledged on Sunday, while Anthony Ratliff committed early last week.

"I haven't talked to any of [the other new commits], but I'll try to get in touch with them soon," Bell said.

During his sophomore year, Bell became a starter at left cornerback for Hough, ending the season with All-Conference recognition. He accumulated five interceptions, 21 break-ups, and 11 tackles.

"Corey Bell, I think, is one of the best cover corners in the state of North Carolina," Hough head coach Bobby Collins said. "He's one of the smartest players I've ever coached on the defensive side of the ball. He knows the terminology and has a lot of knowledge behind the game. He studies film just like a coach does, so that always gives him an advantage on Friday night.

"He blankets guys,. He knows exactly where he has to be to be successful. He knows route combinations. He's going to study the film and he's going to know what the quarterback is going to do."

Bell's father, Myron, had an eight-year career in the NFL at safety. He started for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. Prior to that, he was an All-Big Ten selection at Michigan State.

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