By Adam Aniba
Small School Spotlight; Jeremy Bell
Washington heads into the NFL Draft in a better situation at cornerback than in 2020 with recently signed William Jackson III added to the fold with Kendall Fuller. In 2019, Washington drafted small school standout, Jimmy Moreland in the 7th round and 2021 will be a pivotal "prove it" year, along with former HBCU stand out Danny Johnson who was re-signed.
Continuing the trend of projecting small school talent to Washington, The Burgundy and Gold Report has unearthed another potential small school gem cornerback, Jeremy Bell (Div II Univ of Charleston, WV). Bell was enthusiastic to sit down for a 1 on 1 interview and also was a guest on The Football Garbage Time podcast (3/1/22).
6th-7th rd Grade | CB | Univ of Charleston, WV
Height: 5 feet, 11 1/4 inches
Weight: 190 lbs
Wingspan: 74, 1/4 inches
Arm length: 30 inches
Hand size: 9 , 7/8 inches
2019 (11 games) 36 total tak (25 solo), 1 TFL, 2 ints and 12 PD
2018 (7 games) 3 total tak with 1 fumble recovery
(No '20 fall Season COVID)
When Bell was asked what drew him to football he had the following to say.
"Ever since I was a kid I’ve always enjoyed being around the game and it’s something that my dad and I bonded over for as long as I can remember.
Bell discussed some memorable moments in his football career and it was clear that his passion for the game is real.
"For me there are two moments. The first would be my very first year of playing football. I had my 1st catch and I remember my parents being so happy and I could hear them screaming and that was like my first introduction to football. The other would be my 2019 season when I had 2 interceptions vs a D1 school. Being a D2 kid it felt good to show that I could compete at a higher level."
Although he spent his first two years at Lenior-Rhyne University redshirting (2014 and 2015), he would not be in the football program's plans for the next season. Bell spent the next two years out of school refining his craft as a defensive back and training on a daily basis. Bell reflects on that time in his life in which everything changed for better.
During his hiatus, Bell's dedication to his church led him to becoming involved in his church's media team. The Acworth native would use that opportunity and what he learned to create a workout tape, which he subsequently sent out multiple schools. To the Bell family's delight, the phone started ringing with interested schools. Bell would ultimately sign with the DII program University of Charleston, WV in the Spring of 2018. He saw action in 7 games, with many snaps coming on special teams where he shined in kick and punt return coverage. Bell was often the first player downfield laying out would-be returners.
In 2019, Bell would break out and show what years of patience and preparation could lead to. Bell had his best game against Division I-FCS opponent Valparaiso University, recording 2 ints leading to the schools first win against a D1 program. It was evident after that game, when utilized in a zone heavy scheme, Bell could have a promising career on the next level.
Bell's combine and pro day training would take place at Boost Performance in Nashville Tennessee under the direction of Jordan Laullen, since the University Charleston, WV didn't host a pro day this year. Bell's final pro day numbers certainly put him in the discussion as a late Day 3 draft prospect.
Tale of the Tape
Excels in zone coverage, but is also effective in man coverage
Disciplined eyes always focused on the ball
Displays the ability to effectively drop his hips and redirect with little wasted movement
Ability to effectively shadow receivers is evident
Shows impressive route recognition
Excellent wrap-up-tackler and doesn't go for the knockout blow
Special teams demon that shows no fear as a coverage unit standout
Fit in Washington
Jeremy Bell believes he has more upside than any other D1 cornerback in this draft class, due to his versatility in the secondary to play multiple positions as well as the passion to excel on special teams. Bell's time and experiences off the field helped build his drive and hunger. After one season in Washington, HC Ron Rivera has shown his affinity for grinders and players willing to put in the dirty work to make the team and Bell definitely fits that mold. The small school standout has shown his talent as a zone corner, but his versatility as a prospect goes way deeper.
Bell's speed and athletic ability make him an ideal late round prospect for a special teams unit in dire need of speed and leadership. Washington will have a defensive unit that is young but extremely talented and adding a cornerback like Bell, late on Day 3, would add to an already strong unit.
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