Jason Stamm/TheVTZone.com

A new Big Ten and ACC school joined the pursuit of No. 17 OLB Markquese Bell

Scout300 linebacker Markquese Bell took in Virginia Tech's game against Georgia Tech Saturday on an unofficial visit. Did it change his recruitment at all? He gives the latest details.

Markquese Bell's group of suitors changed a bit, but three long-time schools in pursuit of the Bridgeton (N.J.) High standout remain consistent.

Bell, the No. 17 outside linebacker prospect in the nation, continues to be recruited hard by MarylandRutgers and Ohio State, where he will officially visit for the Nov. 26 game against Michigan. He made a weekend unofficial visit to Virginia Tech, and recently Nebraska moved into the fray and is asking him to make an official visit.

"My grandma and I are going up (to Ohio State) on Nov. 26. I'm looking forward to that visit," said Bell, who is being recruited mostly as a safety with the idea he could grow into a linebacker. "I want to get back up there and let my grandma see everything. I've been up there for Friday Night Lights and I saw a lot of things, but I didn't see everything I wanted to see.

"Plus, for my grandma to get up there and see what I saw before, plus more, she can then have an opinion on the school, which means a lot."


Bell's next trip is to Ohio State, where he forged a strong bond with defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.

"They say if I grow out of safety, I can move up to outside linebacker, or a roll-up safety," Bell said. "I talk to coach Schiano, and I talked to coach Urban (Meyer) a few times."

Bell made the trip to Virginia Tech with his 7-on-7 coach, Marcus Hammond of Next Level Greats, and south Jersey class of 2018 four-star running back Iverson Clement.

"It's a nice campus, and their dorms are pretty cool," Bell said. "Their players weren't really talking that much because of the way the game went."

Hokies assistant coach Brian Mitchell has been recruiting Bell for a while, and the opportunity to go see the campus and get a deeper look at the program was important.

"I never really gave them a thought, and they kept trying to get me down there, but it was hard to get down there," Bell said. "When Marcus said he was going, I thought it was a good chance to go check them out, see how their program is, see how the facilities are and how the campus looks, and to see what the school had to offer."

Getting to see Mitchell and the Hokies coaching staff was a highlight of the trip.

"(Mitchell) is cool," Bell said. "He's honest. He tells you the truth. When I tell him how things are going in recruiting (with other schools), he gives me advice on that."

Nebraska is also making a push, but the Cornhuskers have a different recruiting pitch than the other schools.

"They want me as a receiver," Bell said. "It really doesn't matter where I play, or what side of the ball I play."

Bell said he knows very little about Nebraska -- "they are trying to get me to visit there," he said. -- but he is familiar with linebacker commit Avery Roberts, who plays about an hour from Bridgeton, and receiver commit Keyshawn Johnson.

Meanwhile, Rutgers and Maryland, schools Bell officially visited in October, continue to show a lot of interest.

"They're having pretty rough seasons, just like we did," Bell said. "I think the way they're trying to build the program with the coaching staff, I think they will get where they want to be.

He said the Scarlet Knights staff is in contact every day.

"I talk to (assistant) coach (Aaron) Henry, but pretty much the whole coaching staff hits me up all the time," Bell said. "They all contact me. I don't get a chance to talk to them all, but I try to talk to as many of them as I can."

Terps assistant coach Aazar Abdul-Rahim is Bell's lead recruiter.

"He's a great guy," Bell said. "He's energetic, always joking around. He's a great guy."

Bell said he still plans on announcing his decision Dec. 1, and he will enroll at a school in January.

VTInsider Top Stories