Bell: ‘I Didn't Play Well Tonight'

When playing against the five-time NCHSAA 4A State Champions, you better bring your "A" game. Rico Bell felt that he and his Charlotte Vance squad both left that at home Friday night during their 49-7 loss to nationally ranked Charlotte Independence.

"I didn't play well tonight," said Bell. "I don't know, I can't even explain it. We just didn't play to our potential I think. We have to play hard and play mistake free. We weren't playing mistake free tonight – too many penalties. We slacked off in the first quarter and got behind fast."

Bell's returning yardage – 93 yards on four kick returns and 18 yards on a punt return – was one of the few bright spots for the Cougars, who were shutout until the final minutes of the game.

Despite possessing prototypical cornerback size and speed (5-foot-11, 180 pounds, and legit 4.35-second 40-yard dash speed), Bell plays safety for Vance where he recorded five tackles Friday night.

Bell is being recruited for both aforementioned positions, but would rather stick with safety.

"I'd rather play safety in college than corner," said Bell. "I'm more comfortable at [safety]. I've been playing it since I was in ninth grade. It doesn't matter though, as long as I get on the field."

Currently, Bell owns scholarship offers from Virginia, Maryland, Boston College, and Tennessee, but a new school is on the verge of tendering the three-star recruit.

"N.C. State said they'd probably offer me this month," said Bell. "They said they'd probably send me the official letter this month."

Not focused on his recruitment, Bell is "just keeping his options open," and lacks any favorites. He does, however, plan to take unofficial visits. Two weekends ago he attended N.C. State's ACC bout with Virginia Tech, and he was planning on heading down to Clemson yesterday for the Tigers' game against Miami.

Vance is 2-3, but each of their losses came at the hands of a team that is still undefeated. The Cougars head into conference play in two weeks where they are favorites to win the title.

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