Bell is the son of Ken Bell, a former Boston College star who played running back and returned kicks for the Denver Broncos in the late 1980s. High school coach was Tom McCartney, son of former Colorado coach Bill McCartney. Boulder Fairview also produced former NU safety Phillip Bland.
“I’m sure some people would think I would be way better if I focused on one (position). But versatility is something I pride myself on.”
“To me, he’s just a natural born leader. People love to follow him. His laugh, his personality, it’s all contagious.” — Tom McCartney, Fairview High head coach
One of the first objectives for the Huskers might be to find a permanent home for Bell, who played receiver, tailback, quarterback, cornerback, safety, punter and kick returner in high school. Senior season started with a broken collarbone in the first game that sidelined Bell for six weeks, but he played enough to score touchdowns via kick return, interception return, running and receiving. Returned in time to help Fairview finish 12-1 and make the Colorado Class 5A state semifinals. McCartney said Bell twice was clocked at 4.29 seconds (hand-held) in the 40-yard dash. “In my 17 years, he’s the fastest player we’ve had here,” McCartney said. Bell never seriously considered Colorado — despite his locale and high school coach — so it came down to NU, Texas Tech and Minnesota, although several Pac-10 schools also offered.
Not necessarily a comparison, but Bell comes to Nebraska a little like Prince Amukamara in 2007 — full of potential but looking for the right spot. Bell said the Husker staff plans to start off by evaluating him at both receiver and cornerback and go from there. Combined with some lost experience from missing half his senior season, it likely will be best for Bell to redshirt, but the speed ultimately will be put to use.
These are the players who built Nebraska football.
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