Georgia Bulldogs: Vonn Bell

SEC recruiting primer

February, 6, 2013
ESPN RecruitingNation has signing day covered. Follow ESPNU’s coverage, chat with analysts and get breaking news on our Signing Day Live page beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET through 7 p.m. ET. For more on what to expect on signing day, check out the SEC conference breakdown Insider.

Bold Prediction for the SEC:

Ole Miss' class will eventually be ranked in the top five nationally with the addition of No. 1 overall prospect Robert Nkemdiche from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson and possibly ESPN 150 prospects Chris Jones from Houston (Miss.) High and Antonio Conner from Batesville (Miss.) South Panola.

SEC East

Biggest need: Florida wants immediate help at defensive tackle. Jarran Reed from Scooba (Miss.) East should be able to provide that if he decides to sign with the Gators on national signing day.
Biggest recruit: The Gators have two five-star commitments: cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III from Tampa (Fla.) Wharton and running back Kelvin Taylor from Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades. No other school in the country can say that.

Biggest need: The Bulldogs would like to pick up another top offensive lineman. They looked destined to land Laremy Tunsil from Lake City (Fla.), but the competition has heated up for him lately.
Biggest recruit: With 12 ESPN 300 commitments, Georgia has plenty of star power. However, it's impossible to overvalue the commitment of Brice Ramsey from Kingsland (Ga.) Camden, a quarterback the Bulldogs can build around.

(Read full post)

#BlueChipBattles: Dec. 21

December, 21, 2012
Dee Liner, Reuben Foster, Tray MatthewsESPN.comReuben Foster (center) is torn between good friends Dee Liner (left) and Tray Matthews (right).

No. 1 ILB Reuben Foster has voiced his desire to play with at least one of his SEC-bound friends next season. But will he follow Tray Matthews to Georgia or hook up with Dee Liner wherever the ESPN 150 DL settles? It remains to be seen, but the mystery surrounding his recruitment keeps Foster at the top of our #BlueChipBattles.

Each week, RecruitingNation summons its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits leading up to February's signing day.

Here are this week's top battles Insider, and you can take a shot at ranking the top 10 recruiting battles on SportsNation.

Top recruits abound at Ga. state finals 

December, 13, 2012
There will be no shortage of talent, or college coaches, on the field at the Georgia Dome this weekend, as the GHSA football state championships are set to take place. All seven games will be broadcast live on Georgia Public Broadcasting TV, as well as streaming online at Here are some prospects to keep an eye on in each of the seven matchups.

Prince Avenue (11-2) vs. ELCA (12-1): Class A Private, Friday, 2:30 p.m.

The top prospect in the opening matchup of the weekend is ESPN 150 defensive end Isaac Rochell. He committed to Notre Dame over 20 other offers back in June. His teammate, running back Keyante Green, is a ESPN 300 prospect who committed to Purdue during the summer after being previously committed to UCLA. Eagles Landing Christian Academy has two ESPN 2014 Watch List selections to keep an eye on as well in defensive end Andrew Williams and quarterback/athlete Dalton Etheridge. Williams, whose brother Anthony plays defensive end at Georgia Tech, looks to follow Rochell’s path as one of the most coveted prospects in Georgia.

ESPN 150 DB Vonn Bell talks top three 

September, 25, 2012
Earlier this month, ESPN 150 defensive back Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) announced via his head coach that he had a top three of Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee. On Friday, Bell discussed why each college was atop his list of offers under consideration.

Vonn Bell
Kipp Adams/ESPN.comVonn Bell has a top three of Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee.
Alabama: “They are the No. 1 team in the nation. Coach Nick Saban is about business. He knows what it takes to get his guys to the next level. And you know they are going to get the job done. They bring in elite players and they are national championship winners. That is all I can say.”

Ohio State: “You saw what Coach Urban Meyer was able to do at Florida. He took a break, but all I see is a national championship in the Buckeyes’ future. I know he is going to bring in elite players and do it big there. I just spoke to Coach (Everett) Withers Thursday, and he wished me good luck in my game. He wished he could be down here to watch me, but he said he would be down during their bye week. As far as distance is concerned, you have to become a man one day, so at some point it is time to get out of the house. This is a business, so if you want to get to the next level you have to do whatever it takes and whatever is best for you.”

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Georgia recruiting: Top performers 

September, 25, 2012
The University of Georgia is recruiting some of the top prospects in the country, and DawgNation takes a look at 10 targets and prospects that had standout performances on the field last week.

Derrick Henry, ATH (Yulee, Fla./Yulee) – The ESPN 150 prospect had 42 carries for 502 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-28 win over Jacksonville (Fla.) Andrew Jackson, breaking the single-game record for rushing yardage in the state of Florida. Henry also passed Emmitt Smith (8,804) for 2nd in career yards in Florida with 9,255. Henry now has 38 straight games with 100 yards rushing or more, one shy of the national record set by 2012 ESPN 150 prospect Rushell Shell, now at Pitt.

Brendan Langley, ATH (Marietta, Ga./Kell) - The ESPN 300 prospect had seven catches for 104 yards, three interceptions, 97 return yards, two touchdowns and a blocked extra point in a 33-29 win over Creekview.

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Top five uncommitted: Georgia 

September, 18, 2012
In what is now widely considered to be the fourth-best state as far as FBS football talent is concerned, the 2013 class in Georgia could be the deepest group of talent to come out of the Peach State. More than 200 prospects are claiming offers at the moment, which would easily surpass the 170-180 FBS signees the state has averaged over the last three years. In this feature, RecruitingNation takes a look at the top five remaining uncommitted prospects in Georgia.

[+] EnlargeMontravius Adams
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comMontravius Adams has official visits to LSU, Oregon and USC in the works.
Montravius Adams, DL, Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County, 6-foot-3, 300 pounds
No. 3 prospect in Georgia
Front-runner: Auburn

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ESPN 150 S Vonn Bell whittles list 

June, 30, 2012
Under Armour All-America safety Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) has picked up close to 30 offers during the recruiting process, but as is always the case, there can be only one school on top in the end, so the 6-foot, 185-pound ESPN 150 prospect sat down with his family and coaches to try and narrow things down a bit over the summer. On Saturday, Ridgeland head coach Mark Mariakas announced a top seven.

"Vonn Bell made contact with the following schools, Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt and Clemson, and told them they were on his short list of schools that he will commit to," Mariakas said. "By Labor Day he will cut this list down to two schools and go from there with the process. This list is in no order."

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Vonn Bell sharp at Ohio State camp 

June, 10, 2012
Upon second glance, Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) is as advertised.

Competing in Sunday’s Senior Advanced Camp at Ohio State, the 6-foot, 190-pound, four-star safety stood out in one-on-one drills.

The 2013 recruit is the No. 63 prospect in the ESPN 150 after a junior year in which he had 119 tackles, five interceptions and five fumble recoveries, with three of those recoveries scoring touchdowns.

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ESPN 150 ATH Vonn Bell is in no rush 

May, 28, 2012
Rossville, Ga. -- Less than three miles from the Tennessee border, coaches from Auburn and Tennessee watch as defensive back Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) makes it look easy against his teammates during the school’s spring scrimmage. Three carries result in three spectacular touchdown plays for the 6-foot, 185-pound ESPN 150 athlete, who would also make his presence known on defense with a couple bone-jarring hits before letting the backups take over.

For Bell, who is coming off an All-State season in which he made 180 tackles, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and three recoveries for touchdowns on defense, as well as 37 rushes for 280 yards and five touchdowns, 31 catches for 487 yards and six touchdowns on offense, it was just another day at the office.

More than 15 programs made the trip in the last month to Rossville to evaluate Bell, who has done his best to return the favor, making trips to Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas and Vanderbilt this year. It is all part of a process that Bell and his parents take seriously.

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UGA sees ghost in ESPN 150 DB Vonn Bell 

April, 20, 2012
The University of Georgia coaching staff thought they were recruiting a defensive back named Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland). But after not seeing him on campus the last four months, they were beginning to think he did not exist. He was not present for the G-Day spring scrimmage last Saturday, but as the players started to board the buses, Bell arrived with his parents and some teammates, much to the surprise of the staff in Athens.

“They thought I was a ghost,” Bell said before breaking out into laughter. “I have been trying to get up there, but we both had things come up, so they were not sure if I was real or not. I had the ACT that morning so I missed the game, but I just wanted to come up and spend time with Coach [Mark] Richt. They were still very excited to see me.”

Shortly after his arrival, the Under Armour All-America Game selection was then escorted by his recruiter, offensive line coach Will Friend, to the Richt’s office, where Bell would spend the next hour catching up with the Bulldogs’ head coach.

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ESPNU Watch List safety Vonn Bell has become one of the nation’s hottest commodities since Georgia offered him his first scholarship in January.

“Everything has been blowing up since,” he said. “I had a good year last year and play in one of the toughest states in the country. There is some good competition out there and I stepped my game up to a different level, and proved that I could play anywhere in the country.”

Bell recorded 180 tackles and six interceptions last season, and Texas took notice by offering him a scholarship last week. The 6-foot, 190-pound Bell had never spoken to any member of Texas’ coaching staff before Feb. 23, but they liked him enough to offer him that day.

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Tigers pass Vonn Bell's requirements 

February, 26, 2012
Safety Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) is one of the hottest prospects from the Peach State. He visited Auburn Saturday for its junior day.

“It was really good,” Bell said. “Me and my family met with the staff. That was great. They are not just about football. We talked a ton about academics and life. That was our first trip there and it was much better than I expected. They met all my requirements. The staff was open, it’s the SEC, I loved the environment and they have the majors I am interested in.”

Does that give the Tigers an early edge for this versatile defensive back prospect?

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It's safe to say that ESPNU Watch List member Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) can play a little ball.

The 6-foot, 190-pound safety had never spoken to any member of Texas' coaching staff before today, but by 8:30 p.m. he had an offer.

"I called them eariler today and they said they were very interested," Bell said. "I wasn't sure if I had been offered the first time I spoke with them so I called them back and I asked if I had been offered and [defensive backs] coach [Duane] Akina said that I answered my own question."

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Inside the DawgHouse 2/18 

February, 18, 2012
DawgNation is here to take you Inside the DawgHouse -- a confidential look inside Georgia football recruiting for DawgNation subscribers only. As it will be every week, everything reported Inside the DawgHouse stays on The Pound forum. We are providing this information for our subscribers and hope that you help keep this information protected by keeping it here.

A few things discussed in this week's update:

  • Coveted OOS TE has ties to Georgia
  • Dawgs jump back in for former target

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2013 S Vonn Bell keeps options open 

February, 7, 2012
Born in Kansas, Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) spent several years in Dallas, Texas before moving to Chattanooga, Tenn., when he was in first grade. When he arrived at Ridgeland High School last summer, where his mother, Vanessa Bell, is a teacher, he was like any other teenager. Bell did his best to avoid doing his chores and enjoyed going out with his friends. But once he got on the football field, Ridgeland head coach Mark Mariakas quickly realized that Bell was anything but normal.

“We knew as soon as he got on campus during the summer he was special,” Mariakas said. “Right off the bat he brought a lot of athleticism to the team, as well as leadership qualities. He got better every week, and I have to say he is the most productive player we have had here at Ridgeland. He is a great offensive player, but there were times when he took over ballgames on defense, which was remarkable to watch.”

[+] EnlargeVonn Bell
Kipp Adams/ESPN.comRidgeland High School's head coach says Vonn Bell is the most productive player they've ever had on the team.
Bell made plays all over the field en route to making first-team All-State. He tallied a school record 180 tackles, 119 solo, two tackles for loss, five interceptions, five fumbles recovered, three fumbles returned for touchdowns and three forced fumbles. He also had 37 rushes for 280 yards and five touchdowns, and 31 catches for 487 yards and six touchdowns. Bell, who sees himself as an aggressive ball hawk at the next level, got his first offer -- from Georgia -- a month ago. The news did not surprise Mariakas at all.

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