2011 Intro: DaMarcus Bell

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Having a legitimate two-gap nose tackle on roster in DaMarcus Bell – a rarity on the high school level – has forced Dudley head football coach Steven Davis to consider using an odd-man defensive front this coming season.

"Our base is still going to be the 4-3, but we're going to look at the 3-4 a whole lot," Davis said. "I was the defensive coordinator for the Shrine Bowl [last] year and we ran the ‘50' defense, [which is a variation of the 3-4], and I had some good results out of it…

"[Bell] is going to demand a double team. I've been telling him for three years ‘I can't have one guy blocking you.' And one guy hasn't blocked him yet. He's going to take up an extra blocker; therefore my linebackers are able to run a little freer."

This season, Bell, a 6-foot-1, 316-pounder, will be a four-year starter on both sides of the ball for Dudley.

"He's almost like a coach on the field for us now," Davis said. "He pretty much knows the whole defense and offense – so that's a plus."

In Dudley's run-heavy offense, Bell lines up at left tackle.

"We tell him that ‘When we run the ball we're going to run to your side, so you just take care of the guy in front of you'" Davis said. "…We feel like Bell can handle one guy. If it takes the center and guard to double-team [the other defender], so be it."

Davis is hoping to lessen Bell's offensive workload this season to help keep him fresher for defense.

"One thing we are working on is trying to develop some offensive linemen where he won't have to go on both sides of the ball," Davis said. "Like I told my coaches, during the spring when we're able to go outside, I want our rising sophomores and juniors in the starting line-up [on the offensive line]. I don't need Bell; I know what he's going to bring to the table. Let's see if we can get the younger guys confident so that by the time August gets here, Bell won't have to play as much [on offense]."

Bell's size and accomplishments have drawn attention from college coaching staffs, including Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.

"In my honest opinion – and I've heard this from a couple [recruiters] – he might be the best D-tackle in the state this year," Davis said. "He's getting a lot of interest and I do think he'll get an offer this spring from one of the in-state schools."

UNC is one of the schools recruiting Bell the heaviest.

"[Everett Withers] just liked his motor," Davis said. "We gave them a highlight tape. I wouldn't be surprised if he was offered by the end of the spring."

UNC happens to be Bell's early favorite.

"It's been my dream school since I was a child," Bell said. "I feel like if I go there, I can excel in the defense they use."

If UNC were to offer, however, Bell wouldn't immediately verbally commit.

"They would be No. 1 on my list with very high interest," Bell said. "I wouldn't make a commitment just yet."

Bell doesn't have a timetable for a verbal commitment.

"When I know I'm ready and I know that the school I want to go to is right for me, that's when I'll make my commitment," Bell said.

This past weekend, Bell made his first recruiting trip by attending South Carolina's Junior Day. He hopes to visit Georgia Tech, UNC, and Vanderbilt within the next couple of months. He plans to camp at Duke, UNC, NC State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech this summer.

DaMarcus Bell Profile

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