Technique the difference for Vonn Bell


Vonn Bell took the weekend off. Sort of.

Sure, the ESPN 150 prospect helped lead Rossville (Ga.) Ridgeland to a 35-20 win over Whitfield (Ga.) Northwest, but he put recruiting on hold as he decided to stay home for the weekend and not visit any colleges. He has maintained his top three schools are Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee after visiting Knoxville last weekend.

Bell's athleticism is obvious. However, his attention to detail is what sets him apart from most prospects, according to his head coach Mark Mariakis.

"It's kind of two fold," Mariakis said. "One, he has great God-gifted talent that you've got to have. He has speed, agility and that reaction time, the ability to make plays and be around the football. The variable that everybody likes physically is his tackling ability.

"He's a hard hitter, a guy that you can put in coverage but you can also put in the box and have him make plays as a strong safety or linebacker type."

Mariakis said Bell's fine tackling technique is rare.

"It is," he said. "That's what everybody liked about him on his film right off the bat was seeing him make great angles, get his head across, deliver the lick, run his feet, bring his arms, all of those natural things that those big hitters have. When you think of big hitters and the variables they have, he has all of them."

Clearly, Bell doesn't rely on his physical ability alone.

"He wants to learn," Mariakis said. "He wants to get better. He's a film watcher. Actually the first game he played for us [in 2011] he had a great game statistically but he didn't grade out very well. He had a lot of technical mistakes. [Since] he's just kind of been a sponge, wanting to get better as a football player. So as well known as he is now and as highly recruited as he is, he's not resting on his laurels. He constantly wants to get better.

"Then the intangible is his leadership, his competitiveness, what he bring to the team. His personality is just second to none. If you put all that together, he has the full package. That's why everybody in the country wants him."

Bell said he plans to take his official visits after his senior season.