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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Vonn Bell spends time with finalists

By Kipp Adams

In a span of fewer than 72 hours, ESPN 150 safety Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) spent time with coaches from each of his three finalists. First was on his first official visit, to Ohio State.

“I enjoyed my time with the coaches at Ohio State and seeing how they treat their players and prepare them to perform on that level,” Bell said. “It was a nice experience getting to know them.”

The best aspect of Bell’s trip to Columbus, Ohio, was the opportunity to spend time with several standouts on the Buckeyes team.

“My favorite part about the visit was hanging out with Braxton Miller and the defensive backs like All-American Bradley Roby and seeing how they operate,” Bell said.

Meyer made sure to let Bell know before he left campus to return home that he is a priority for Ohio State in this class. As for their chances, Bell said not to count them out.

“Urban Meyer said he needed me there and that they have no depth next year, so they need players like me that can get it done,” Bell said. “Ohio State definitely still has a chance to sign me. You would have to be crazy to give up on Coach Urban like that.”

The success of the team in 2012 has not gone unnoticed by the No. 4 safety prospect in the 2013 class, who believes the future is very bright for the Buckeyes under Urban Meyer.

“Ohio State went 12-0 and was not able to go to a BCS bowl game, but they will get there next year,” Bell said.  “You cannot really say anything bad about Urban Meyer. That is a guy that knows what he is doing and is on track to be on the national championship pace with Coach Nick Saban. I am blessed to be recruited both of those guys.”

Speaking of Saban, the Alabama head coach made the trip to see Bell at his high school on Monday, causing temporary chaos in the school’s hallways.

“When Coach Saban walked through the doors at my school, everyone went crazy,” Bell said. “He just won a national championship again, and seeing him brought tears to the eyes of the big Alabama fans.”

Later that afternoon, Saban arrived at Bell’s house to spend some quality time with the No. 50 recruit in the country and his family.

“I had a really good in-home visit with Nick Saban,” Bell said. “He just won the national championship like a week ago, so it was a great experience just to spend time with him. We have built a good relationship together through this recruiting process that is not just about football; it is also about life in general.”

While the conversations may have been about more than football, Saban did not leave without informing Bell he wants him to suit up for the Tide this fall.

“Nick Saban told me that Alabama needs me,” Bell said. “He just wanted to make that clear to me because he knows he does not have to mention their success or ability to develop and produce players. He gets the best out of his guys, gets them to the league and gets them a good education. That is what he brought to the table and to my parent’s eyes.”

The 6-foot, 190-pound defensive back will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Friday for his official visit to Alabama.

“We are going to see what happens,” Bell said. “I am interested in seeing how my trip to Alabama goes and what the atmosphere is like there.”

On Tuesday, Bell spent time with Tennessee safeties coach Willie Martinez. Having grown up in Tennessee and knowing several members of the Volunteers’ football team in Knoxville, Tenn., Bell admits he is looking forward to getting to know the new staff.

“Coach Martinez is selling that same point on how he needs me to rebuild Tennessee,” Bell said. “He says [head coach] Butch Jones is a really good guy. He says on my visit they are going to have a Vonn Bell Day on campus and have fun.”

Jones is expected to visit Bell Monday. Bell intends on making his announcement on signing day or the day before.