Originally written on The Lady Sportswriter  |  Last updated 2/8/12
With the losses of Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders—and the uncertainty surrounding what will happen with Sanders Commings—Georgia is looking very thin at the defensive back position; both this season and beyond. Keeping that in mind, the Bulldogs will likely add more than a few defensive backs in next year's recruiting class and they're already off to a good start having offered the versatile Vonn Bell ($).

Bell was a standout defensive player for Ridgeland High School last season, netting 119 tackles, five interceptions, five fumble recoveries (three of which were returned for a touchdown).

His coach, Mark Mariakas, says he's the most talented player to ever come through his program and he's been diligent about getting Bell noticed by every school he can—personally sending out video of the young man in action to "every SEC and ACC" school.

The sales job is obviously working as Bell has already secured offers from not only Georgia and Alabama, but Tennessee and Arkansas as well.

As for a favorite, Bell doesn't have one, but the first offer coming from Georgia could work in the Bulldog's favor down the line.

"Getting the first offer from Georgia was really big for me because they are in the most powerful conference in the SEC. That meant a lot to me and my family. I have not met the coaches yet, but I call and talk to Mark Richt all the time. It is awesome to see him on TV then talk to him. He is really relaxed and I like him. I think he is a man of his word. I hope to meet him soon." (Kipp Adams, reporting for DawgNation.

But does that put Georgia in the drivers seat? It doesn't sound like it does...yet.

Bell grew up a Tennessee fan and always dreamed of going there, but a slow moving Volunteers coaching staff—presumably caused by turnover at several key assistant positions at the end of the season—might have placed them behind the eight ball for the moment.
Bell is still awaiting word from the one school he wants to hear from. He said he grew up a Tennessee fan, but several attempts by Mariakis to contact UT coaches have been unsuccessful. The lack of correspondence from Knoxville has been especially frustrating for Mariakis, who said UT was one of the 20-plus schools to whom he sent video. He said he has called the Volunteers' football offices twice, but hasn't heard back.

"I'm not bad-mouthing them. They're busy and we're just one high school, but I just want to know if they have any interest at all," Mariakis said. "That's the frustrating thing. Here's a kid who is interested in them and makes no secret about that and who is a no-brainer as far as talent, character and grades. We would just like a return call to let us know if they're interested or not.
That Tennessee offer did come, eventually, but they will have plenty of suitors to ward off now if they expect to remain in the hunt for Bell's services.

For the time being, Georgia has impressed one of the most important people in Bell's life, his mother.

"It was a nice surprise when Georgia offered," Vanessa said. "We have not visited yet, but we know Mark Richt tries to run a tight program. He wants them to be responsible students first as well as working hard on the field. That is very important, because if you cannot conduct yourself in a respectful manner you will not make it in this world."

Bell is certainly not ready to say he's loving any one school more than another, but you don't have to read too much into his comments before you realize that this one could come down to Georgia and Tennessee.

A battle the Bulldogs, hopefully, are able to win next February.

Here's a little video of Bell:

Read more sports commentary at: http://theladysportswriter.blogspot.com/

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