Kansas City (MO) Park Hill quarterback Kendrick Bell committed to Michigan back in October of 2022. Again, as I was in the throes of football season, I did not have time to put together a commitment post, especially of a player nobody really thought was a Michigan-level prospect at the time. Of course, that runs in his family, since his brother Ronnie Bell was a basketball player and not much of a football prospect until Michigan hopped in with an offer. Kendrick picked Michigan over UMass and Northern Iowa.
Bell is listed at 6’3″ and 180 lbs. As a senior in 2022, Bell completed 224/339 passes (72%) for 3,570 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also ran for 670 yards and 10 touchdowns.
ESPN: 3-star, 77 grade, #19 dual-threat QB
On3: 3-star, 88 grade, #25 ATH
Rivals: 3-star, 5.6 grade, #38 ATH
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #95 ATH
Hit the jump for more.
Kendrick Bell was mildly on my radar for the past year or two just because he was Ronnie’s little brother, and those things tend to stay in the back of your mind. Sometimes that pays off where younger brothers pick the same school (Ben Bredeson begat Max Bredeson), and sometimes it doesn’t (Ben Van Sumeren’s little bro Alex ditched Michigan for MSU). In the Bells’ case, both were under-the-radar football recruits, but Kendrick’s position at quarterback indicated either having to play at a lower level or having to switch positions.
Bell has some good traits as a quarterback. He’s tall and lanky, and he will certainly add some weight (although brother Ronnie never got very thick at Michigan). Perhaps his best playing trait is the fact that he can create when things break down, keep things alive, and make some accurate throws on the run. Despite questionable footwork, he has an impressive ability to throw with accuracy, touch, and decent velocity while moving to his left. His whip-like throwing motion allows him to make off-platform downfield throws, even when his feet aren’t set.
My issues with Bell as a quarterback do not stem from his physical abilities so much as his mechanics and decision making. He rarely makes early, quick decisions with the football, and instead, his entire highlight film is full of him making throws off schedule. I remember watching Trevor Lawrence’s high school film, and the most amazing thing about him was how he made such quick decisions off the snap and knew where the ball was going. And while that’s not always possible – sometimes the defense calls the right coverage or just has better athletes – there should be at least some evidence of that capability. Then there’s the question about Bell’s footwork, which is all over the place. The nice thing is that he’s an athlete, so he can move his feet, but he’s never consistent with his drops, does not always get lined up to throw – which is tough when you’re always running – and runs flat when rolling to his left rather than getting depth and cocking his shoulders.
Overall, Bell is a project as a quarterback. Along with the things mentioned above, somehow Park Hill went just 8-14 over the past two seasons with him at quarterback and scoring 30+ touchdowns each season. It doesn’t seem to be very often where a quarterback from a bad high school team comes in and suddenly elevates his college team to the next level. I think Bell has the size and athleticism to make the move to receiver, and he could also be tantalizing to use on double passes, reverses (and reverse passes), wildcat packages, etc.
If Bell remains at quarterback, here’s what the current depth chart looks like for the fall of 2023:
- J.J. McCarthy (Jr.)
- Davis Warren (RS So.)
- Jack Tuttle (6th)
- Alex Orji (So.)
- Jayden Denegal (RS Fr.)
- Kendrick Bell (Fr.)
TTB Rating: 74
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