With this year's recruiting class almost cemented, it is time to begin profiling the top juniors in the state. Michael Bell, OFS #11 player, is one to watch. At 6-0, 169, Michael plays both defensive back and wide receiver for Shaker Heights. It was a bit difficult (considering his 4.42 posted at the Ohio State camp last summer), but I recently caught up with he and his coach, David Sedmak.
Bell enjoys his time on both sides of the football but is slotted to play wide receiver at the next level. Coach Sedmak believes that Michael can improve his game in almost every facet, but he likes what he sees thus far. "He is a slasher. He is best on the deep routes and the hitches, but he will come across the middle also. He is definitely not afraid to come across the middle. That is one of the reasons I think he is tough."
Michael wants to be physical as well as quick and is hard at work in the weight room trying to best his current bench (245) and squat weights. "I like to be stronger and faster than anyone on the field."
As far as his personality and character, Coach Sedmak describes him as "a good kid. He works very hard and is pretty tough." He has been elected captain, and that tells us at Bucknuts that his teammates respect him. Like any young man, Bell sometimes messes up on the field. When he does though, he is coachable. Sedmak observed, "When he screws up and a coach reams him out, he responds to it, which I think is an important trait. A lot of kids can't handle that. Let's face it -- when they go to college, they will get plenty of it and need to be able to deal with it."
Michael is set to have a breakout senior season, and he is already setting some high goals for himself. He wants to improve his grade point average (currently a 2.9), be all state, and play in the Big 33 game. Though he is already a fine prospect according to Duane Long, Michael is striving to get better. "I figure I need to keep working hard because pretty soon everybody is going to be at the same level as me. So, it is the little things that will set me apart like working hard."
Currently Michael has no favorite school, but he is hearing from a few that you might recognize. Notre Dame, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Colorado, and Indiana are already sending him material, and if he continues to progress – the letters may morph into scholarship offers. So far, he has been on unofficial visits to Penn State, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. When asked about where he would like to go, Michael's has a couple criteria. "I want to go to a good team and somewhere I can play as soon as possible. I would like to play in the Big Ten."
On Dealing with the Attention his Senior Year: "Nothing really matters. It is all about what you do on the field."
On Playing Time vs. Winning: "When I was younger I liked playing time, [but now] I would rather win. Everybody wants to win."
Coach Sedmak on his Toughness: "He is pretty tough. He had a pulled hamstring last year. He gutted it out through the season. He was only at full strength probably a few games. He sucked it up in practice and played every week. We sat him one game."
Coach Sedmak on the Keys for Michael: "Nate Clements was here a few years ago. That is who I compare everybody to now. He still has some room to grow to get to that point, but I think he wants to, and I think he will. He should get to that point, but the thing about Nate Clements was that he was always very humble. Even though he would sometimes be flamboyant on the field, he was really a humble guy…The key for him [Michael] is going to be humility, being humble and being hungry."
Michael on his Early Leaders (in no particular order): "Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State."