Taking unofficial visits this summer has helped narrow that focus, and a recent trip to USC has appeared to change the tone of his recruitment by the Trojans.
“I just wanted to see where they see me in their defense,” said Tell. “I got a good understanding of that. They plan on having me play multiple positions, kind of that nickel, safety spot. So, I got that out of them and just hung out.”
Tell made the trip with his father. While USC had recruited Tell somewhat ambiguously as a defensive back the past five months, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and defensive backs coach Keith Heyward brought the 6-foot-3, 185-pound safety in to the film room to illustrate their plans for him.
“Yeah, I watched some practice film on them and the team is looking good, said Tell. “Definitely some guys I would have to look up to over there, Su’a Cravens and a few other DB’s, Kevon Seymour, although he plays corner, but I’d still look up to him. Yeah, it was a good visit.
“I kind of have a plan, I kind of see how I would fit in their system and where I would be in their system.”
For the past few months, USC has also played second fiddle to Washington State and UCLA in the game for which school was recruiting Tell the hardest.
“USC kind of stepped it up a little bit, said Tell. “Once they kept hearing Washington State and UCLA were recruiting me harder, they stepped up to recruiting and stuff. I would say USC is recruiting the hardest right about now.”
Much of the effort in recruiting Tell has been on the back of Keith Heyward and regional recruiting, Marques Tuiasosopo.
“I asked Coach Heyward a lot of questions and he’s answered all of them the way I wanted him to,” said Tell. “Coach Heyward is a really good dude and we’re working on building our relationship and that’s what I look for in a coach — to have a comfortable relationship, not anything awkward.
“Somebody I can laugh with and also he can be hard on me at the same time. He’s a great coach.”
After The Opening this week, Tell wants to begin to move from keeping his college options completely open.
“I’ve started narrowing down my list a little bit,” said Tell. “I’ll come out with an official top 10 or top five later on in the year.”
USC and UCLA fans will be happy to know that their rivalry on the field will continue on for the foreseeable future for tell’s commitment.
“My two local schools for sure, USC and UCLA, will be in there most definitely,” said Tell.
Tell also used his latest visit to USC as an opportunity explore the school beyond Howard Jones Field.
“Yeah, I took a big campus tour, asked a bunch of questions about the sports medicine program and things like that,” said Tell. “Loved it.”