During the spring Tenoroc high's two-way lineman Terry Bell took in the USF spring game as a virtual unknown. At 6-foot-5, 297 pounds, Bell passed the eye test, but as far as recruiting goes, he barely registered a blip.
Bell's recruitment accelerated greatly once his junior highlight tape went out shortly after and since then it's been a busy and wild time for Bell. The big, physical defensive tackle/offensive tackle from Lakeland, Fl has seen a flood of offers come in from all over the country.
"Things really picked up in the spring," said Bell. "I think I'm up to 30 or 31 offers now."
Bells list is impressive and includes offers from such schools as, Florida State, Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee, Auburn, Nebraska, West Virginia, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Illinois, South Florida, Kentucky, Purdue, Minnesota, UCF, Syracuse, and has interest from Miami, Florida, and Michigan.
"The whole recruiting process has been great," said Bell referring to all the attention he's receiving. "It's all pretty amazing to me."
Bell is a two-way standout for the Titans, excelling at both OT and DT, and has been recruited to play both, but Bell has a preference of which side of the ball he wants to play on.
"I am open to play on either side, but I prefer to play on the defensive line," said Bell. ‘I love to hit, tackle and make the big play. Most schools are offering me at DT."
The standout prospect has been busy with camps and taking visits and recently went on a road trip with several players from the greater Tampa Bay area with stops at FSU, Georgia, Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama, and Tennessee.
"I really liked all the schools we saw, it was a pretty neat trip," said Bell. "All of them were real nice."
He also participated in the FCA team camp in Naples this week, and on Friday Bell was supposed to take a trip to see Florida and USF, but that trip didn't happen.
"I was planning on going, but I didn't know we had to take our senior class pictures that day," said Bell.
Bell was at the USF spring game and got to see Raymond James Stadium, but hasn't yet seen the campus and facilities at USF, and plans on taking a visit there.
"I've been talking with Coach Patrick and I'm planning on taking a trip to USF next week," said Bell. "I'm not sure when, but it will be before they leave for camp. I may take a visit to UF as well."
With an impressive list of suitors Bell said he's recently narrowed down his list to 5 schools that he's focusing on.
"Yeah I have a top five list of schools," said Bell. "Ole Miss, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida State, and South Florida. Those are the schools I'm really looking at."
Bell talked about what keeps South Florida among his list of favorites.
"At USF, I know I'm going to get playing time if I go there. They also have a real good criminal justice program," said Bell. "I like the coaches, they're close to home, and when I was at the spring game it was pretty exciting and we had a good time."
Bell said another thing in their favor is that the Bulls were one of the schools on him early. He's met several USF coaches, but talks the most with defensive line coach Kevin Patrick, and likes what he sees in the coach.
"He's a nice guy and seems like a very honest guy," said Bell. "I'm pretty sure he's going to be straight up with me. He also has a funny guy and has a good sense of humor."
In making his decision Bell knows what he's looking for in a college program.
"It's about where I can see myself playing for the next four or five years and feeling comfortable," said Bell. "Also the academics and having my major of criminal justice, family feel, and playing time, that's pretty much what I'm looking at."
The coveted prospect said he hasn't thought about setting up his official visit yet, and as to when he'll make his choice, Bell said he doesn't know when he'll decide, it could be sooner or it could be later.
"I don't know right now, it could be by the end of the summer or in the middle of the season," said Bell. "It's going to be a big decision for me so I want to make a good one."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com as we keep you updated on Terry Bell's recruitment and the rest of the class of 2011.