Bell No Longer a Sleeper

Up until last Saturday, Rico Bell had been kept completely out of the recruiting limelight – to the delight of Virginia's coaching staff.

The Cavaliers, who have extended Bell a scholarship offer, had hoped they could pluck the unheralded cornerback from Charlotte (N.C.) Vance before opposing recruiters discovered him. However, Saturday's performance at the Shrine Bowl Invitation Practice definitely ruined those plans.

During one-on-one passing drills, Bell shined by locking down the best receivers North Carolina had to offer purely with his closing speed.

"I did good – I had two interceptions," said Bell. "It's time to make the [North Carolina Shrine Bowl] team; I'm not intimidated at all."

Bell earned an invitation to the practice by putting up incredible numbers during the Shrine Bowl Combine held in Charlotte. After measuring in at 5'10½" and 177 pounds, Bell ran a 4.29-second 40-yard dash and 4.56-second 20-yard shuttle. He also benched 185 pounds ten times, and vertically jumped 32.5 inches.

Since the practice, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, and Maryland have begun to pick up their recruiting efforts.

With only one offer on the table and the strong possibility for more, Bell has declined to name any favorites.

"I'm just keeping my options open right now," said Bell.

This summer, Bell plans to camp at Virginia, Virginia Tech, and N.C. State.


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