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Spartanburg product Bell preps for NFL draft, combine

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Spartanburg product Bell preps for NFL draft, combine
    Offensive lineman will take part in All-Star game this weekend
    Furman University Order a Reprint
    Joel Bell

    By Eric Boynton
    eric.boynton@shj.com


    Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 10:27 p.m.
    Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 10:32 p.m.
    School is out at Furman for Joel Bell, but the big offensive lineman’s education toward his chosen field has only just begun.

    Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge
    When: 3 p.m. Saturday, El Paso, Texas
    TV: CSTV
    Who’s there? Former Furman and Spartanburg standout offensive lineman Joel Bell, former Furman corner Will Middleton, former Florida State corner Tony Carter, former Virginia linebacker Antonio Appleby and former Virginia Tech and West Liberty State tailback Brandon Ore.
    Did you know?
    Joel Bell is the third Furman player in the past four years to be invited to the NFL draft combine. Quarterback Ingle Martin attended before being drafted in the fifth round by Green Bay in 2006, and fullback Jerome Felton was an invitee and was later drafted in the fifth round by Detroit last season.
    Bell’s accolades in 2008
    All-Southern Conference
    College Sporting News Fabulous 50
    SoCon Jacobs Blocking Award
    Sports Network FCS All-American
    Associated Press FCS All-American
    Walter Camp Foundation FCS All-American
    Key dates
    Feb. 18-24: NFL draft combine in Indianapolis where all 32 NFL teams will be on hand for mental and physical evaluations.
    March 27: Pro workout day at Furman (date is tentative).
    April 25-26: NFL draft at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.

    The former Spartanburg and Paladins standout is ensconced in around-the-clock training for life in the NFL that will take him up until the draft held April 25-26.

    It’s easy to imagine the sudden shift from campus life to rigorous football boot camp might be taxing on a young man with big dreams, but Bell revels in the control he has over his own future.

    “The main thing I like about this is it’s all in my hands now as to whether I make it or not,” Bell said Wednesday by phone from El Paso, Texas, where he’s practicing for Saturday’s third annual Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge.

    “It’s great to put all your attention and focus into football in trying to succeed. Obviously it is up to other people, but I’m the one who is playing and has to do well. I feel as if it’s all up to me and that gives me comfort.”

    A positive for Bell could be that the NFL has achieved a certain comfort level with Furman recently. Former quarterback Ingle Martin was drafted in the 2006 fifth round by Green Bay and fullback Jerome Felton went in last year’s fifth round to Detroit, where he ended up starting.

    While that duo has helped keep Furman on the NFL radar, the biggest favor they did for Bell was drawing him plenty of NFL attention as an underclassman.

    “The biggest thing is the scouts who came to Furman to watch them at practice also saw us (cornerback Will Middleton, also playing in Saturday’s all star game),” Bell said. “They’d also see us while they were watching film and they knew to come back and check us out during our senior years.”

    The potential for Bell’s 6-foot-7, 315-pound frame quickly became intriguing to NFL personnel and now he’s very much a draftable commodity. He appears to have created more buzz than another former Spartanburg player — defensive lineman Landon Cohen — and Cohen was drafted in last year’s seventh round and made Detroit’s 53-man roster.

    So as Bell awaits his next big step — late February’s NFL draft combine in Indianapolis, where he can solidify his stock — he’s doing all he can to improve to take it to the next level. He’s been working out and will continue to do so at TEST Sports Football Academy in Martinsville, N.J.

    “The main things we’re working on now are speed, flexibility and just overall power,” TEST founder, CEO and performance specialist Brian Martin said. “He’s a big, strong kid and we’re working on his hips and techniques to get him a little more NFL ready.

    “The bigger you are the better you are in a lot of teams’ eyes and he’s also got real long arms and all those are real positives. He’s really adapting well and is a great student of the game who is very diligent with his work ethic.

    “He’s not too far behind because he’s an incredible worker. It’s more of a mental adjustment, picking up the skills that are a little more intricate in getting ready for the NFL level.”

    Martin helped prepare former Delaware star Joe Flacco for last year’s draft before he went on to become one of the NFL’s biggest surprises in leading Baltimore to the AFC Championship game.

    Bell has spent this week practicing alongside players from Division-I powerhouses while undergoing interviews with NFL personnel. Most of the scouts left El Paso Wednesday with only walk-through sessions left until Saturday’s game.

    Bell acknowledged the game itself isn’t much more than a glorified scrimmage with little in the way of sophisticated game-planning, but the whole week has been beneficial.

    “I would say it’s very important for me just because the competition is different here — faster guys and bigger guys with more experience versus tough opponents,” Bell said. “It’s great experience and a great opportunity.”

    Every bit of additional work and exposure helps make the draft a yearly venture into the great unknown.

    “I’m just working very hard and trying my best not to worry about that too much,” Bell said of trying to predict if and when he could be drafted. “Hopefully I’ll get drafted and the goal is obviously to go as high as possible, but right now I have no clue where that is.”
  2. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    i dont know too much about this person, but thought if anyone knows them, your welcome to give us some insight on them

    or any other items i put up on these players coming up for the nfl draft

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