Bell joins Meyer's quest

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Last updated: 02/06/2013 1:16 PM

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Football Recruiting
Bell Joins Buckeyes, Meyer’s Quest to Unseat SEC
By Brandon Castel

Vonn Bell is on a mission. It just so happens to be the same mission Urban Meyer started this past season at Ohio State.

It only makes sense the two are planning to work together in an effort to knock off Alabama – one of Bell’s three finalists – and unseat the SEC’s run of dominance in college football.

“Urban Meyer is on a mission right now for a national championship,” Bell said, wearing a black Ohio State hat, during his live announcement on ESPN Wednesday.

“They went undefeated this year and he didn’t even recruit. Everyone says the SEC is where I need to go, but he’s going to bring the SEC up there.”

Getting Bell is a heck of a start for Meyer, who started this run of dominance for the Southeastern Conference with his win over the Buckeyes in the 2007 BCS national championship game.

The 5-star safety out of Rossville, Ga. picked Ohio State over Alabama – the two-time reigning national champs – and Tennessee. The Volunteers were Bell’s childhood favorite growing up in Chattanooga, where his family still lives.

Sources down in Tennessee were ready to call Bell to the Vols this morning, but he was clearly drawn to what Urban Meyer is building in Columbus: a program that can be remembered for standing up to the bully when no one else could.

“We all on a mission. We want to do something special,” Bell said during his announcement.

“We’re gong to try to beat ‘Bama at national championships and try to get that crystal ball. We’re going to complete that mission.”

In Bell, the Buckeyes are getting one of the top defensive backs in the country and a kid who was coveted by just about everyone in the SEC. He runs like a corner, but hits like a safety, which is likely the position he will play for Meyer and defensive coordinator Luke Fickell at Ohio State.

He is an instant impact type of player who could see immediate playing time on special teams and possibly as a fifth defensive back in the nickel. The Buckeyes return both starting safeties from a year ago in Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett. Both players are seniors, as is key backup Corey Brown.

That would open the door for Bell to earn a starting spot on the back end of Ohio State’s defense in 2014. He was one of the most productive defensive players in the state of Georgia this past year, guiding his team to the state championship game in Atlanta.

That’s where Urban Meyer made a big impact with his visit to see Bell on an important day. Things moved quickly from there, with defensive backs coach Everett Withers coming in to close the deal with his late in-home visit.

“The job Everett Withers did with a guy like Vonn Bell is one of the best recruiting efforts I’ve ever seen,” Meyer said Wednesday after Ohio State received Bell’s signed Letter of Intent.

According to former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, the Buckeyes were the team to beat all along, but Meyer said they weren’t 100 percent sure of Bell’s decision heading into signing day.

“We had a good feeling,” he said during his call-in show on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus.

The commitment from Bell propelled the Buckeyes to No. 1 in the recruiting rankings of both Scout.com and Rivals.com. There are still other teams jockeying for that top spot, but Ohio State is going to be the conversation as a top 3 class when all the ink has dried.

Check back with The Ozone for more updates on what Meyer and his coaches had to say about Bell and the other members of Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class.

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