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Sunday, January 13, 2013
Coach reflects on Vonn Bell's OSU visit

By Brad Bournival

Is Ohio State still in the mix for ESPN 150 safety Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland)?

His high school coach Mark Mariakas wasted no time at all in answering that question after talking to Bell’s father, Vincent, following the four-star senior’s official visit.

“No doubt about it,” Mariakas said.

Alabama and Tennessee will get official visits the next two weeks, and Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban will make in an in-home visit on Monday. But the Buckeyes impressed Bell during his time in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend.

“They were all in the car coming back and dad’s quote was, ‘We had a great visit. We had all of our questions answered. We saw everything we needed to see and had a wonderful time.’”

While Bell couldn’t stick around for the Buckeyes’ men’s basketball game against Michigan, there wasn’t a stone left unturned with Bell and his family, who came along for the visit.

When Bell met with Urban Meyer near the end, he laid out exactly what was next for Bell and his family in what has been an incredible -- albeit exhausting -- experience for the 6-foot, 190-pound senior.

“Vonn told Coach Meyer today -- I don’t know if he asked him directly about what he liked the best -- but his answer was he liked Coach Meyer and what they’ve got going on because it reminded him so much about us at Ridgeland,” Mariakas said. “The personalities he and I have are so similar. He liked that relationship and environment.

“That has been the one thing that has drawn him to Ohio State, other than it’s a great institution and great staff. They’re building a great program. That’s the variable that’s drawn him. It’s going to be a very tough decision for him.”

What’s next for Bell is 23 more days of doing some homework to make sure the school he picks best suits him, both on and off the football field.

“They had their meeting with Coach Meyer and said they were going to come back to school and meet with me on Monday and fill me in on all the details,” Mariakas said. “They said they’ll decide to make the decision on signing day.”