Name: Markquese Bell
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Bridgeton (NJ) Bridgeton
Notes: Holds offers from Boston College, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, and Wisconsin . . . As a junior in 2015, caught 52 passes for 792 yards and 12 TDs; 60 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 9 PBUs . . . ESPN has not ranked him yet . . . Rivals 4-star, #19 athlete, #225 overall, #4 in New Jersey . . . Scout 4-star, #26 athlete . . . 247 Sports 4-star, 90 grade, #21 athlete, #261 overall, #7 in New Jersey
Strengths: Good size and frame to play multiple positions in college . . . Decent route runner . . . Strong runner with ball in his hands . . . Good stiff-arm . . . Solid change-of-direction skills . . . Nice leaping ability . . . Tracks the ball well . . . Aggressive when ball is in the air . . . Acrobatic receiver who catches well in traffic . . . Big hitter on defense . . . Takes good angles in run support . . . Aggressive tackler . . . Good speed
Weaknesses: Plays against mediocre competition in high school . . . Needs some work on short and intermediate routes . . . Sometimes fails to wrap up when tackling . . . Lacks elite straight-line speed . . . Carries ball loosely at times
Projection: Safety or wide receiver. I usually develop a good feel for a player’s propensity for playing offense or defense, but I think Bell is equally adept at playing both positions. I would lean toward playing him on defense because he’s a violent hitter who I think would be a very effective player in the box, supporting the run, covering tight ends, etc. But he also has the size, athleticism, and mentality to develop into an alpha receiver. I like the confident way he carries himself on the field. He has a chance to be a very good player on either side of the ball.
Reminds me of: Ahmir Mitchell. I know people have requested in the past that I compare recruits to players whose careers we’ve seen play out, but these two guys are too similar for me to avoid the comparison. Both have college-ready bodies and skills that could lend themselves to playing either side of the ball. They’re not exact replicas, because Bell has better defensive instincts that Mitchell did in high school.
Likelihood of committing to Michigan: Bell visited Michigan for the spring game last weekend, and the Wolverines were already rumored to be leading before the visit. He now has three predictions in the 247 Sports Crystal Ball, and all three are in favor of Michigan.
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