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Monday, January 21, 2013
Two visits down, one to go for safety Bell

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Vonn Bell’s official visit to Alabama over the weekend gave him and his family a chance to see the campus one more time, get their questions answered and see a side of UA head coach Nick Saban that most normally don’t see.

Ridgeland High School head coach Mark Mariakis spoke with Bell’s father on Monday to see how the official visit went.

“He said it went wonderful,” Mariakis said. “They rolled the red carpet out like they do for all those kids. They had a great time doing things on campus and also at Coach Saban’s house. I think he said they went to Coach Saban’s house twice -- one evening for dinner and then the next morning for breakfast -- and just had a great time.

They kind of saw Coach Saban in a different light, off campus, and just had a good talk. They had all the questions answered that they had. His quote was, ‘It was just Alabama. It was good. No wonder they win national championships every year because everything is laid out and they have a plan for everything.’”

Bell has narrowed his list to three schools -- Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee. The ESPN 150 defensive back has now taken official visits to both Alabama and Ohio State, and he’s set to visit Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend.

On Monday, new Volunteers’ head coach Butch Jones made his in-home visit with Bell, and he brought the entire defensive coaching staff with him.

“I think it was important for them to do that,” Mariakis said. “Mr. Bell said they talked more about Tennessee, their new philosophy and what they were bringing to the table more so than they talked about Vonn’s role in that. I think they’ll get to that this weekend when he takes an official visit.

“Mr. Bell said that he was impressed and pleasantly surprised about what they were talking about, and that they were looking forward to the official visit this weekend.”

Once Bell takes his third and final official visit to Tennessee, a decision could come shortly after that, as early as next week, Mariakis said. However, Bell will wait until signing day to announce that decision.

As a senior, the four-star athlete rushed for over 1,000 yards, caught 18 passes for 627 yards and scored a combined 21 touchdowns.