Name: Ronnie Bell
Weight: 184 lbs.
High school: Kansas City (MO) Park Hill
Position: Wide receiver
Jersey number: #8
Last year: I ranked Bell #27 and said he would be a backup slot receiver (LINK). He started ten games and made 48 catches for 758 yards and 1 touchdown.
TTB Rating: 71
Bell was the breakout skill player in 2019. Even though Jim Harbaugh said coming out of the spring that Mike Sainristil had earned the starting job in the slot, Bell managed to come out swinging and led the team in catches (48) and yardage (758 yards). He saved his best career performance for the rivalry against Michigan, when he set career highs in catches (9) and yardage (150 yards), but that was the only time he topped 100 yards. But he was very consistent, with six other games in which he had between 78 and 98 yards.
Somehow, Bell was held out of the end zone except for a 39-10 win over Indiana, when his lone catch for 6 yards went for his only score of the year.
That lone touchdown thing was really frustrating for some Michigan fans, who saw Bell drop a touchdown pass in a 28-21 loss to Penn State. Some morons acted out harshly toward Bell – who was in tears after the drop – but he earned a standing ovation from Michigan fans without brain damage.
As Michigan’s leading returning receiver, Bell was a no-brainer to be ranked pretty highly. But just like Giles Jackson yesterday (LINK), Bell would be ranked even higher if the countdown had been created with the knowledge that Nico Collins would not be available for the season. Bell has pretty reliable hands and is an excellent runner after the catch, even though he lacks blazing speed. He is reportedly moving to the X receiver spot to take over for Collins there, opening up room for Jackson and Mike Sainristil in the slot. I do expect the volume to go down a little bit since he’s moving out of the slot, but if Joe Milton can get him the ball out there on an island, Bell should be able to make some fun things happen after the catch.
Prediction: Starting wide receiver