Brandon Bell somehow flew beneath the radar for much of last year’s recruiting cycle, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why. For one, he’s already 6’2″, 225 lbs., and yet to take part in Coach Fitzgerald’s off season program. Perhaps more importantly, he could prove to be a key contributor as a freshman in a linebacking corps lacking any semblance of depth.
A favorable depth chart is hardly the biggest reason Bell can contribute right away. I watch his high school film, and he’s a very athletic player, especially for someone his size. 247 rated him a 3 star prospect, and the 43rd best inside linebacker in the country, but I find it hard to believe there are 42 better players in last year’s class. Bell committed to Penn State in June of last year, but after visiting West Virginia, and then Penn State, Brandon didn’t see another campus, and essentially shut down his recruitment. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind.
Perhaps the biggest reason for optimism with Brandon, both this year and into the future, is the guy that drew him to Penn State in the first place, linebacker coach Ron Vanderlinden. Not only is Coach Vanderlinden a huge reason Bell chose PSU, he also has shown time and again his ability to identify the guys he wants, and turning them into the next great linebacker for Linebacker U. Brandon Bell should have plenty of opportunity to do just that.
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