May 4, 2010
Jackson (Miss.) guard to decide in August
Justin Bell and his Callaway High School, (Miss.) teammates started spring practice Monday, the first day of two weeks of workouts before putting the pads back away until August.
The actual football activity was a nice change for Bell, as the 6-foot-3, 320-pound offensive guard has recently spent the majority of his time dealing with his recruitment.
And rightfully so. Following these 10 or so practices, Bell will be back on deadline.
While most 2010 Mississippi recruits are contemplating the turn of the calendar year as the time to commit, Bell wants to have his mind made up by the start of fall football.
"I'm ready to get that decision made and then start working to be ready to go when I get there," Bell said. "My team deserves my focus, so that's important. I'll have time this summer to think about everything, and then I'll get it done. That'll be nice."
Bell isn't saying other schools can't enter and make an impact on his decision, but it appears to be an in-state Southeastern Conference race for his signature. Ole Miss and Mississippi State have both offered and are the clear leaders for Bell.
"I've done the junior day thing, and both schools just show you a lot of love," Bell said. "The fans and players make you feel special. Everything has gone well."
Bell made of a day of it on April 17 and was able to attend both the Rebels' and Bulldogs' spring games - along with teammate Aaron Morris, an offensive tackle that is being highly recruited by both colleges.
The trip to Oxford, Miss., was important for Bell because it's the first type of game atmosphere he's seen from the Rebels. Bell attended games at MSU last fall but has never been to Ole Miss for a game day.
On the surface that would seem to give Miss. State an edge, since Bell is committing relatively early, and the prospect doesn't completely disagree.
"It does sort of kind of give State an advantage," Bell said. "It's not a defining factor, but I know more about (MSU's) atmosphere. How they have a great feel up there. Anthony Dixon could have run for four yards, and they cheered like crazy."
Any school trying to catch up will need to do so at camps this summer. Bell is planning to camp at his two offers, along with Southern Miss and Alabama and possibly Auburn and LSU.
Bell and Morris have discussed playing together and talk about it often.
"We are always discussing that, but you just never know," Bell said. "We won't change our mind on where we want to go just to make that happen."
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