In Pursuit

West Virginia is on the radar of the nation's top linebacker prospect. But it will have to battle intense pressure, both from national names and local schools.

Dorian Bell, a 6-1, 220-pound wide receiver/linebacker out of Monroeville's Gateway High has every physical tool needed to play on the major college level. He attacks ball carriers and scrapes down the line well. He shoots gaps and controls of the block. And his combination of athletic ability and aggressiveness on every snap has elevated him to the top prospect slot for linebackers – the position he will play at the next level.

Bell had 131 tackles as a junior last year, 25 for loss. He also had 11 sacks and a pick while showcasing his ability both to rush the passer and cover, both laterally and vertically. The Mountaineers are one of the top schools on Bell's list, but he warned that a decision would not come soon.

"I am pretty much wide open right now," Bell said, noting that he would likely attend Ohio State's spring game. "I'm looking close to home and how a team stays together. (West Virginia) is right there. I want a team where there are no individuals, where they are a team, team play, and they stick together no matter what. I went (to WVU) twice and I like their campus a lot. I like how their practices are and their weight system, the way they lift. That's really good."

That hasn't vastly changed since the hire of Mike Joseph after the departure of Mike Barwis. Joseph has initiated more stretching and fiber/ligament work in an effort to avid some of the hamstring injuries that plagued WVU in the last few seasons. Bell noted that the weight room was also impressive, and that the facilities overall were a draw. The coaching change, he said, did not bother him, though he is being heavily recruited by Michigan as well. The Wolverines are not currently listed in the top seven, being bumped by West Virginia, Boston College, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt and Rutgers.

Bell will attend the Nike camp later this year, but is unlikely to attend the camps of any single school. He has over 40 offers, including essentially the Who's Who of college football. Timed at a 4.59 40-yard dash, Bell also ran a 7.12 second three-cone and a 4.44 second short shuttle. He will set visits sometime over the summer, and one would expect him to take all five. Bell has already chosen to major in computers and technology, a choice that developed when relatives and friends began to call him to fix PCs. He became proficient at it, and began cleaning systems performing other maintenance. Academics are not expected to present any issues.

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