Outside of running on Cornelius (N.C.) Hough’s 4x100 relay team, Corey Bell’s focus since the end of his football season has been preparing for his North Carolina career. The cornerback helped the team reach regionals.
In previous track seasons, Bell ran in the 100-meter dash. But, he elected to skip the event this spring.
“My junior year, I was weighing anywhere from 155 to 165 [pounds],” Bell said. “So, it was a lot easier to run a 10.5 [seconds in the 100-meter dash]. But now I’m at 178. I didn’t even bother running the 100, because I knew my times weren’t going to be where I needed them to be at.”
Bell’s workout schedule has contributed to his weight gain. His routine includes following the running portion of the packet UNC’s strength and conditioning staff sent him. Lifting wise, he’s stayed with his high school’s program.
“I lost a lot of weight playing both ways this [past] season,” Bell said. “I went from 165 [pounds] and fell to 156, I think. That was in November. My high school workout has worked for me, so I decided to stick with it.”
Bell aims to reach 180 pounds on his 5-foot-9 frame by the time he enrolls on June 16. His campus arrival is a day after he graduates from Hough.
“Life’s going to be different,” Bell said. “I’m not going to be living with my parents any more. Really, football might be the most normal thing for me. Of course the guys are going to be faster and stronger, but football at the end of the day is football. My first focus is getting the college life in order.”
If this sounds like a naïve viewpoint, keep in mind that Bell’s father, Myron, is an eight-year NFL veteran (Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals) who spent his college days playing in the Big Ten for Michigan State.
As far as adjusting to college life, Bell has a leg up on most incoming freshmen. Carl Tucker, who was Bell’s teammate the past two seasons, has been on campus since January. The two will share a suite, along with Jason Strowbridge and Johnathan Sutton.
“He said that I’ll learn a lot in the summer,” Bell said. “Things won’t be full force yet, because [we won’t be taking] as many classes and there’s not as many people, so I can get used to a little bit. He said there’s some stuff I’ll need to get used to.”
Football wise, outside of playing cornerback, Bell is unsure exactly what Gene Chizik has in store for him.
“We’ve talked a couple of times here and there – not a lot though,” Bell said. “But it’s been enough. I already met him, so he didn’t need to recruit me.”
When he committed – way back in March ’14 – Bell asked Larry Fedora about wearing No. 1 at UNC. Bell was told that it depends on projected special teams conflictions (running back Khris Francis wears that number). If that doesn’t work out, Bell will request his high school number (18), which is occupied by another offensive player, Josh Cabrera.
“One is my favorite number,” Bell said. “I wore it in practice and seven-on-sevens, but come game time our athletic director didn’t believe in wearing the No. 1 in football.
“I got stuck with No. 18. Back when I was a sophomore, I was like 5-8, 145 [pounds] and No. 18 at Hough was the smallest jersey possible so that the only reason I picked it. But I actually ended up falling in love with the number.”
Signee Update: Corey Bell
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