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January 30, 2012
Signing Day Spotlight: DB, Cedrik Bell
As Army's 2012 recruiting class unfolds, GBK will spotlight the comits who will soon be ewearing the Black & Gold. With uniqueness of Black Knights recruiting, this feature continues all the way past National Signing Day.
The spotlight now shifts to defensive back Cedrik Bell.
High school: Marian (Ind.) Marion High
Recruitment: One way or another, Cedrik Bell was bound to play football at Army. When Bell learned Army assistant coach Joe Ross was to due to arrive on Marion High's campus to recruit running back Marcus Marble, Bell asked Marion coach Randy Sehy for an introduction. Once Marble informed Ross he wasn't interested in playing college football (he has a track scholarship to DePaul), Ross spoke with Bell.
And Bell is a kid who makes a strong first impression. Ross subsequently liked what he saw when he watched Bell's tape and checked his transcript.
"I'm glad they came around to recruit Marcus," Bell said.
But even without Ross visiting the campus, Bell was fulfilling the application process to receive a West Point appointment. He earned it on Dec. 22nd through one of Indiana's U.S. Senators, Richard Lugar. So even without Marble drawing Ross to campus, Bell, no doubt, would have banged on head coach Rich Ellerson's door for an opportunity to make the team as a walk-on.
"I try to get as much done on my own as I can," Bell said. "I don't want anything handed to me. I was interested in West Point since my freshman year. My dad (Keith) is an Army veteran that served in Desert Storm. I've also had uncles and cousins in the Army."
One relative is a third-cousin, former Army quarterback Reggie Nevels (2001 to 2004). Nevels, who also is from Marion, wrote one of Bell's letters of recommendation to Senator Lugar.
"When I made my official visit to West Point in January, Coach Ellerson told me I was the easiest recruit he ever had," Bell said.
Scouting report: The 6-foot-0, 180-pounder finished second on the team in tackles as a junior and senior. If you haven't seen Bell play, let it be know that he has a reputation as a hard hitter and that uses his quickness against bigger players.
"I'm not shy about contact," said Bell, who added he has already added 5 pounds to his 180-pound playing weight in an offseason conditioning program.
Bell plays with one-on-one skills, but he also has the instincts to read plays developing and adjust to make plays. In Marion's 3-3-5 scheme, head coach Randy Sehy said if a opponent played a double tight end formation, he would walk Bell down from safety to line up at defensive end.
Coach's comment: "He's one of the smartest kids and one of the hardest working kids I've ever coached. He's really worked hard to fulfill his dream to play at Army. You never know what's going to happen in college, but I guarantee you Cedrik will work hard on the things he needs to do to have a successful career. I know he is really excited about fulfilling his dream to play for Army."
- Marion (Ind) High coach Randy Sehy
Position need at Army: Ellerson's staff originally recruited Bell as a safety, his primary position as a three-year varsity player at Marion. But in watching his film, Ellerson's staff noted Marion's coaches would move him from strong safety, to free safety, to outside linebacker, to hybrid linebacker/safety and defensive end. Army began to view him as a possible cornerback. Bell is expected to start out as a cornerback when he arrives at West Point, but he could always switch back to safety. As a boundary cornerback for Army, he possesses run-stopping responsibilities similar to a safety.
Bell's comment: "I've always wanted to play Division I football and I want to be an engineer. West Point is a top school for engineering, so it's a perfect fit for me. I can't wait to get their and try to be beat Navy and Air Force. For my signing day, Reggie Nevels is supposed to get an Army hat for me."