Bell was a three-year starter at left tackle, earning All-Southern Conference honors in each of those seasons. As a senior, he won the Jacobs Blocking Award as the league's premier blocker.
Bell (6-foot-7, 315 pounds) enjoyed a strong week at the Combine. He measured in with a 34-inch wingspan and 10.38-inch hands. He ran the 40 in 5.15 seconds and put up 27 repetitions on the bench press.
Before he showed off for scouts, he talked with SDBoltReport.com's Erin Murphy.
Q: Have you met with anyone from the Chargers?
A: Yeah, I spoke with them.
Q: What kind of meeting was it? Formal? Informal?
A: Whatever we did [Wednesday] night around the tables. There were a bunch of people out there.
Q: Do you come into the Combine with a chip on your shoulder because you come from a smaller school?
A: I think so. I don't really look at it like that, but I feel like I should be up there [with the top prospects] and I'm working hard to get there. I'm not really worried about all this stuff [at the Combine]. I'm worried about playing in the pros, getting somewhere. I'll just do my best and hopefully it will all work out.
Q: How is it that small-school players are so often overlooked, yet every year they make big contributions in the NFL?
A: It's probably that drive. It's not like with the small-school guys it's any different. We don't sit there any think, ‘Oh, we can't play with the big-league guys.' Every year, most small schools play a big school. They might get beat, but they'll play hard and a lot of guys on the smaller team will beat the guys from the other team. There are a lot of guys from small schools playing in the pros that are doing really well.
Q: Why did you decide to stay at Furman through your senior year?
A: I realized how much it could mean for me, playing two more years of college ball, plus I had a lot of friends there. Plus, I couldn't see myself not wearing football pads.
Q: If the Chargers call your name on draft day, what will you bring to the team?
A: I work hard and try to get better all the time. I haven't played football for real long, so I have a lot more to learn still.
OT Joel Bell