Ohio State has secured the commitment of 5-star safety Vonn Bell, which the talented prospect announced via ESPNU. Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report also shared the news via Twitter. Alabama and Tennessee were also interested in the elite recruit, whom 247Sports ranked inside the top 30 overall.
5-Star safety Vonn Bell will sign with Ohio State. Chooses Buckeyes over Tennessee and Alabama.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) February 6, 2013
It's one of the first true surprises of national signing day, as 247Sports listed Tennessee as the favorite before Bell decided to join the Buckeyes.
Bell was one of the top safeties available in the class. He's illustrated terrific versatility, with the ability to excel in both pass coverage and run defense. The Georgia native also has the tools to become a playmaker at the next level with good hands and natural instincts.
The Ridgeland High School standout will join an Ohio State defense that ranked 31st in the nation last season, allowing just under 23 points against per game. He should be able to step right in and make an immediate impact for the Buckeyes.
His commitment adds to an already impressive secondary haul brought in by Urban Meyer and Co. Eli Apple and Cameron Burrows are among the other big names that will join Bell in Ohio State's revamped defensive backfield.
What type of impact will Bell have next season?
Make no mistake, there's going to be a lot of pressure on Bell to make plays after generating so much hype during the recruiting process. Any player that's pursued by so many top programs is expected to make his presence felt right away.
Luckily for Bell, his skills match the hype. He has all the tools coaches are looking for in a young safety and should become a major piece of the Ohio State defense sooner rather than later. Defensive backs with his type of raw talent are rare.
Landing him is a tremendous coup for the Buckeyes, who are putting together a top-notch 2013 class.