Four-star safety Markquese Bell will commit to the school of his choice on January 1 at the Under Armour All-America Game. The Campus Insiders staff gave its predictions on where the No. 1 safety out of New Jersey will end up.
The progress Virginia Tech has made under Justin Fuente is unbelievable. But I don’t see the Hokies ending up with Bell. Rutgers definitely needs him the most, but it’ll be Maryland who ends up with him. D.J. Durkin is an energetic, brilliant defensive mind, and that will be a big factor in Bell ultimately picking the Terrapins.
Bell has good size for defensive back at 6-foot-3 and has a knack for tracking the ball. If he lands with an innovative coach staff, he could also see some time on offensive given his high school track record as a receiver. That could be the case at Maryland with coach D.J. Durkin and offensive coordinator Walt Bell, who will try almost anything. Given Durkin’s history as a solid defensive coach as well, I’ll go with Bell to choose the Terps.
This is actually a rather fascinating recruitment. Michigan and Ohio State are longshot candidates to Maryland and Rutgers, the latter coupling’s coaches being former defensive coordinators for the Wolverines and Buckeyes, respectively. Toss in that Bell took an official visit to ACC Coastal Division champ Virginia Tech right before the dead period ends, and it’s a big ball of mystery.
Crazy enough, I actually see Bell staying home with Rutgers. Chris Ash has been putting the hard sell on Bell to anchor Rutgers’ defensive back recruits in this class – a class, mind you, that is coming together nicely and has top-25 potential. It’s hard to turn down the head coach, when he, not just assistants, makes a house call to recruit your services.
A 6-foot-3 defensive back? As an Auburn alumnus and fan, I am used to seeing 5-foot-9 guys trying to hold down the fort in the secondary. This is amazing to me. I’m envious.
Unlike my colleagues, I’m going to go with Michigan on this one. In Ann Arbor, you can win championships where as in College Park, a spot in the Big Ten Championship game is a mere dream.
Note: Scout rankings, ratings and photos used in this article.