A "No-Brainer"

Things have drastically changed for Blake Bell in a year. He has gone from playing receiver as a sophomore, just so he could get on the field, to moving back to quarterback as a junior and becoming one of the most sought after signal-callers in the nation by college recruiters.

"It's kind of crazy right now, thinking about it and everything," Blake Bell said.

Two seasons ago at Bishop Carroll Catholic, Bell was battling two seniors for the starting quarterback job, and decided receiver was his best opportunity to play on Friday nights.

"I said the heck with it," Bell stated. "I just wanted to get on the field and play because it was my brother's last season there, and I wanted to make year out of it. That was fun."

Bell wasn't too bad either. The Wichita, Kan., product was the team's second leading receiver, catching roughly 60 passes for 500 yards, helping lead the Golden Eagles to a 11-2 record and a spot in the 5A title game.

But quarterback was where the 6-foot-6, 215-pound Bell's heart always was, and he played like it as a junior.

This past season, Bishop Carroll moved to more of a spread offense, and Bell threw for more than 3,200 yards and 37 touchdowns, to just eight interceptions. The Golden Eagles finished 9-2, and Bell has since earned top-100 player status in Scout.com's initial rankings.

Scholarship offers have poured in from over 15 schools, including Georgia, LSU, Kansas, Miami, Missouri, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and most recently Notre Dame.

"Right now, I'm just waiting until basketball is over, and then we're going to sit down, my coach and my parents, and we're going to think about recruiting with more detail, and I think it will hit me even more how crazy everything is."

Oklahoma offered the four-star Bell on Valentines Day, and the Irish followed on Wednesday.

Bell had been hearing from Notre Dame for some time, and found himself on the phone with assistant coach Rob Ianello. Ianello then passed the phone to head coach Charlie Weis.

"We were just talking about everything, and how basketball was going, and then he said do you have any interest in Notre Dame," Bell explained. "I said that's a no-brainer, definitely. He said good, because I'm offering you a scholarship.

"Then he talked about Notre Dame and their season, and their school, and that's kind of how it went."

Bell says that he's open to every college program right now, but the Irish offer definitely has his attention.

"Since I'm Catholic and I go to Bishop Carroll, a private catholic school, there is a lot of Notre Dame fans in our school and in our community by being catholic," Bell began. "It's a big honor. It's Notre Dame. Coach Weis has coached a lot of big-time quarterbacks, guys like Tom Brady, Brady Quinn, Jimmy Clausen. It's a big-time program and a big-time school, and that's why I'm so interested in them."

During the fall, Bell took two unofficial visits to Oklahoma for games. He also went to a Kansas game and Nebraska's junior day. He will return to Kansas for an upcoming junior day. Following basketball, Bell hopes to take a lot of trips this spring to various schools, including one to Notre Dame.

"Oh most definitely," Bell said. "Its just, the question is when. We're going to sit down and talk about it with my coach and my parents, and get something where we can see a spring scrimmage or spring practice and check out the campus and get to know the coaches a little bit better."

Bell also plans to hit places like Missouri and other schools in his neck of the woods. He is also participating in the Elite 11 Showcase in Athens, Ga., so visits to Georgia and Clemson are great possibilities.

Bell's father Mark played tight end at Colorado State, and his twin brother Mike also played defensive end. They both went on to play in the NFL. Mark Bell played for the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts for seven years, while Mike Bell suited up with the Kansas City Chiefs for 12 seasons.

Both have been instrumental in the younger Bell's football career. Blake Bell isn't sure when he is going to make a college decision on where his career goes next.

"If I find the school and it's the right fit for me, I'd say I'd probably pull the trigger on it. But if I don't find it, and I need some more time to check more schools out, I'll wait it out. If it comes, it does, if it doesn't it doesn't.

"Basically, I'm looking at just how I fit in at the school. Just the coaching staff, and how their offense is ran. Basically, it all comes down to how I fit in. People around me and surrounding me. Just the people and how I fit into the program."

One thing is for sure, Bell fits in anywhere a lot better at quarterback than receiver.

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