2009 Intro: Hawatha Bell

MATTHEWS, N.C. --- Hawatha Bell is sure to keep alive Butler High School's run of sending its players each year to the Division I-A ranks.

"He's going to be a guy that's going to get 30 or so offers," Newsome said. "He did mention that he kind of wants to stay closer to home. But he'll be a guy that will get offers from all over the country - a lot like these guys we had that just graduated."

Right now, Bell, a 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker, has eight scholarship offers – East Carolina, Illinois, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. Bell will attend Junior Days at East Carolina and Maryland. He has already attended South Carolina's Junior Day a couple of weekend's back.

Bell, who is looking to make a verbal commitment before the end of the summer, is favoring UNC, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.

"South Carolina, when I went up there for their Junior Day, I just felt comfortable," he said. "All the coaches were excited to see me up there. I just felt like I was supposed to be there.

"Virginia Tech, I'm interested in their school because we have two of my former teammates [E.J. Whitley and Jarrett Boykin] going to the school. I want to see what Virginia Tech did to get their attention and to draw them to Virginia Tech.

"And UNC, our running back from last year [Ryan Houston], goes there. I want to see what interest he had in UNC."

This fall, Butler will have alumni playing at Clemson, Illinois, UNC, Notre Dame, and Virginia Tech. Bell said he is closest with Tiger signee Spencer Adams, who is his cousin.

Bell plays both middle and outside linebacker for Butler, where he collected 121 tackles and three sacks last fall.

"He's got good size," Newsome said. "He isn't quite as tall as some of the colleges might like. But he has tremendous speed... He's 230 pounds. He's one of the strongest guys that I've seen play."

However at the collegiate level, Bell will stay inside.

"I think because of his height – he's just at 6-foot tall – he will be more of an inside ‘backer," Newsome said. "He definitely has the speed to play outside ‘backer."

Bell played running back during the latter parts of the season, scoring five touchdowns. With his significant role on defense, Bell won't be the featured running back, but expects to see an expanded role this season.

Hawatha Bell Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories