Five-star ready to ink with Vols?

Sign up or sign in to get this Tennessee football recruiting update from InsideTennessee.com. Be sure to come to IT for all the latest in Volunteer athletics.

Whether it was the Tennessee Vols former staff under Derek Dooley or the newly revamped staff under head coach Butch Jones, one player has been an overwhelming priority in the 2013 recruiting class — Vonn Bell.

The 6-foot, 190-pound five-star safety that resides just inside the Tennessee state line has been atop the Volunteers recruiting board for months all leading up to his official visit weekend that concluded Sunday afternoon.

"It was a real good visit," Bell told InsideTennessee.com. "Coach Jones and everyone up here were great. Going to the basketball game and seeing all that was a great experience.

"Tennessee helped themselves with this visit. They really showed a lot to me and my family. This coaching staff showed me a lot and I am going to talk to my coach about that when I get home and see how things go."

And not only is Bell atop the coaches' wish list at Tennessee, he also has Orange & White diehards salivating on what could be, which was evident as fans chanted his name inside of Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday night when the Ridgeland (Ga.) High School prospect was in attendance for the Vols 54-53 win over Alabama.

"It was a really good experience at the basketball game," he said. "I really didn't expect anything like that, but the fans here are excited about this Tennessee program because it is coming back."

"I really didn't expect anything like that, but the fans here are excited about this Tennessee program because it is coming back."

Vonn Bell

For Bell, the official visit weekend was a way to develop relationships with a staff that has only been in the ear of the FOX Sports NEXT's No. 2 safety in the country for a matter of weeks.

"It was really good to meet all these guys," said Bell of the new staff. "It was my first time really meeting coach Jones. He came down to my house this past week and we met, but it was good to get up here and start to build a relationship."

Not only was Bell impressed with Jones' supporting staff, but Bell's parents, who accompanied him on the visit, enjoyed the new atmosphere on Rocky Top as well.

"They are really excited and they were really impressed by coach Jones and everything they are doing here," Bell said. "They really liked the family atmosphere. They were really excited."

And while this may have been Bell's first time in Knoxville with the coaching staff, it wasn't that family's first time meeting with the majority of the assistants. That came when Jones marched his entire defensive coaching staff into Bell's living room earlier this week for an in-home visit, something Bell had yet to see from other suitors.

"It means a lot to my family and me for him to bring all those guys to see me," he said. "It means a lot to my coaches at Ridgeland High School too. Coach Jones definitely has a plan to build Tennessee and get it back to where it was."

Bell has narrowed his choices to Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee and says he and his family will now use this time to evaluate his future.

"My family, my coaches and I are going to take this time between now and signing day to sit down and evaluate everything," he said. "I need to look at the pros and cons of each school and do what I have to do."

Stay tuned for more Tennessee football recruiting updates from InsideTennessee.com.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories