Virginia Tech Remains in Picture with Bell

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Butler (Matthews, N.C.) linebacker Hawatha Bell spoke this spring of the possibility of making a college choice by this spring or summer, but, as of now, that no longer appears likely to happen. The 6-1, 225-pound prospect, one of the top defensive recruits in the Tar Heel state’s 2009 class, would like to commit as soon as possible but would first like to make official visits.

“Recruiting has been kind of quiet,” Bell said. “I think I’ll be making visits sometime during the season. I’m going to make official visits during the season, that’s for sure. Right now, I’m not focused on going to schools. I’m focused on our season and I’m focused on pulling my grades up.”

Bell, who has received double-digit Division 1A scholarship offers, has taken an unofficial visit to South Carolina and has been to Chapel Hill for a Nike Camp at the University of North Carolina. He has not yet visited Virginia Tech but still expresses heavy interest in the Hokies.

“Tech and South Carolina are the two schools I’m really looking at besides UNC,” Bell said. “Virginia Tech is a good school. Two of our former players go there. I’m ready to see what it is all about.

“Right now, I’m open with all the teams.”

Bell indicated that he would like to make all five official visits before coming to a college decision. Which programs might he visit?

“Virginia Tech, South Carolina, N.C. State, UNC and probably Michigan,” answered Bell, who has been offered by each of those five programs.

After racking up 120 tackles including 12 tackles-for-loss in his junior season, Bell is anxious for an even bigger senior season. He has taken to the roll of leader on a team that lost top talents such as Spencer Adams (Clemson), Robert Blanton (Notre Dame), Jarrett Boykin (Virginia Tech) and Eddie Whitley (Virginia Tech) from last season’s squad.

“I’m ready to go. I’m ready to lead the team where it needs to go,” said Bell, who plays running back as well as linebacker. “We hope to do better than we did last year. I think we can be more successful. We have a lot of young players on the team, so we’ve just got to get working with them. By the first game, I think they’ll be locked