December 22, 2011

Bell talks signing, plans at Tech

Out of all seven junior college signees Tech landed Wednesday, there's no question Javon Bell is going to be the most explosive attacker.

The 6-foot, 175-pounder from Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College has made big plays his entire life. On the high school and junior college level, Bell has been able to simply run past defenders before catching the ball and trotting to the endzone. The hope is he will be able to continue doing what he has done best as a Red Raider.

"What I'm going to do when I come in for the spring, I know I'm not going to be starting, but I'm going to fight for a position," Bell told's Chris Level and Aaron Dickens on their Lubbock radio show 'Tech Talk' on Double T 104.3 FM. "I bring some speed to the offense so the quarterback (Seth Doege) is pretty good and can throw it up there and watch the referees' hands go up saying touchdown."

Bell will report to Lubbock Jan. 20 and will join the Red Raiders immediately thereafter to prepare for and go through spring football drills.

He'll be joining Gulf Coast teammates Rashad Fortenberry who could come in and compete for a starting offensive tackle position and safety Chris Payne who is expected to add some needed depth to the safety corps that really only has D.J. Johnson, Terrance Bullitt and maybe Cody Davis if he isn't moved to linebacker.

"I told them Texas Tech is a great place to be," Bell said. "It isn't the biggest, it isn't the loudest, but it's nice as far as football atmosphere. We're football players so we love the loudness of the game and we love the fans. I just told them 'if you come out there you'll like it,' and that's what they did. They loved it."

For Bell, signing on Wednesday was about feeling the most at home with the Red Raiders. He scheduled his official visit for the Nevada game, that game where Tech converted a fourth and goal on its final drive to win 35-34 and preserve a 3-0 start to the 2011 season.

"I realized when I came on my official visit that I wanted to make this my second home," Bell said. "I just like the atmosphere and everything around Texas Tech. There was a lot of adversity in that game and they fought through it and came out with a win."

But there was more to the football program in Bell's decision to move from Perkinston, Miss., to Lubbock. Like many of the other junior college players that signed Wednesday, it ultimately came down to the relationships Bell had established with the coaching staff and how he was treated while visiting the South Plains.

"It was mostly the coaches and the people around," Bell said. "I like the coaches' way of handling the players and I also liked the people around Texas Tech and how they approach football players. They really look up to them as role models and I like that when it comes down to people like that."

The funny thing is Bell had been committed to the football program long before news broke that he had committed. Bell, although it was widely speculated he would sign with Tech, remained a silent commit until this past weekend's commit storm.

In ways it was relieving for Bell not to deal with the attention that comes with announcing a commitment, but on the other hand it wasn't fun to not be able to talk about future plans.

Now he can talk away.

"I'm feeling good about it because I was ready to get to the big school," Bell said. "I'm ready to get to Lubbock and light it up on and off the field."

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