Not even two days into the holiday weekend, and Notre Dame has landed a second notable commitment thanks to consensus four-star cornerback Micah Bell (The Kinkaid School; Houston) on Friday evening.
The third defensive back in the Irish class, Bell is the first among them projected at cornerback in the future. The No. 16 cornerback and No. 114 overall prospect in the class, per rivals.com, Bell visited South Bend twice, once to see last season’s win against USC and once again last month. When he was not visiting Notre Dame, he seemed to focus on Texas schools, including his hometown Houston, Baylor and, of course, Texas. He was also offered a scholarship by six Big Ten schools, including Michigan and Michigan State, and eight SEC schools, including LSU and Florida, not to mention Stanford and Oregon.
Bell plays mostly running back in high school, dabbling at cornerback, but at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, his future on the defensive edge is clear. He does not enjoy a long stride, to be expected from someone standing sub-six-foot, but the track star has still logged a 10.45-second 100-meter dash and a 20.89-second 200-meter dash this spring. Just in case anyone is not clear: That is fast.
He will need some time to learn the nuances of cornerback, but the perk of playing running back right now is Bell is clearly comfortable with the ball, which could lead to many forced turnovers at the next level.
He will need to add some weight, but doing so without losing his quick hips will be ideal. As a running back, they create a shiftiness for Bell in traffic. As a cornerback, they will allow him to turn and cover downfield efficiently.
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A year after Notre Dame signed three cornerbacks, and with a total of seven defensive backs on the Irish roster having four years of eligibility remaining, this may be a light cycle at the position.
Bell is Notre Dame’s 17th commitment in the class of 2023, following consensus four-star offensive tackle Charles Jagusah’s pledge Thursday morning. By the end of the holiday weekend, more fireworks should follow.