Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2009 Spotlight: Dorian Bell

The Ohio State University's 2009 recruiting class will be hard pressed to equal that of 2008. They finished behind only Alabama in the Athlon Sports top-25 recruiting classes.

Jim Tressell and staff are doing their best, however.

The Buckeyes 2009 haul, so far at least, is once again in the top-5 nationally, along with other schools like Texas, LSU and USC. Georgia, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Florida State are nipping at their heels.

With nine potential AC100 members out of 11 total commits, the Bucks should again finish atop the Big Ten recruiting rankings. Storm Klein could play almost anywhere on the field. John Simon is aiming to lead his team back to the OSHAA state title game. Jordan Hall will fit perfectly in a zone-read scheme with former teammate Terrelle Pryor. Chris Fields is a more polished version of Ted Ginn Jr.

But the top rated player in this class, thus far, is Gateway High School's Dorian Bell. The Monroeville, Pa., linebacker is a tackling machine. Pittsburgh fans certainly know who Bell is. 2008 AC100 defensive end Shayne Hale - and future Panther star - played on the same defensive unit. Scouts say that Bell is further along at his age then Hale was when he was a junior.

A very bold statement.

Bell holds roughly 40 offers and was expected to hold out longer on his decision. But after falling in love with OSU on a visit to Columbus, he surprised everyone by calling a press conference the very next day - April 21st - and picking the Buckeyes.

Like Hale, Bell is a tremendous closer. Once he reads the play, he gets to where he is going as fast as anyone in the nation. His speed, agilty and raw athleticism are fantastic. His size, although only listed at 6'1" and 210 pounds, is more than adequate. In fact, he might be closer to 220 at this point. He also has a long, rangy frame that will allow for him to put on muscle.

His change-of-direction and lateral quickness give Bell the ability to play sideline to sideline. This makes it incredibly difficult to run outside on him. He is obviously great when on the attack not only just in the run game but also within blitz packages. He will be a force coming off the edge and up the gut on pass blitzes.

Bell is the complete player, though. He is far superior to Hale when it comes to pass coverage. His fluid hips and agility allow defensive coordinators to match him up in man-to-man situations if needed. His pass drops are technically sound and very solid.

As mentioned, he will need to add weight to his frame. Taking on 6'7" 300-pound Big Ten linemen will always be an issue for Bell. The only other area of concern is his recognition skills. They are not poor by any means, but could use some honing. Each come with time in a division-1 football program.

Very simply put, there are very few weaknesses in Dorian Bell's game.

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