Friday, July 2, 2010
2010 Countdown: #65 Isaiah Bell
Name: Isaiah Bell
Weight: 237 lbs.
High school: Liberty High School in Youngstown, OH
Position: Middle linebacker
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #26
Last year: I ranked him #75 and said he would redshirt. Bell redshirted.
Bell is in his second year of the program and making an adjustment from playing high school safety to playing college inside linebacker. Up to this point, he hasn't really made his mark on the team. Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton are the presumed starters at the inside linebacker positions, and J.B. Fitzgerald, Kenny Demens, and Mike Jones are scheduled to be the first ones off the bench.
I'm a little surprised that Bell was bumped to inside linebacker rather than Steve Brown's hybrid role, but at 237 lbs., Bell has put on enough weight that the hybrid position would no longer be an option. In the pictures I have seen, Bell still looks a little bit soft, so I think he's still got some work to do with his conditioning and nutrition habits. But I stand by my assessment from last year that Bell will be a good player in college - it just won't be this year. Bell could be a contributor on special teams this year, and we might also see him at linebacker against teams like UMass or Bowling Green. Otherwise, I don't expect to see #26 on the field much this year.
Prediction for 2010: Special teams action; limited linebacker reps