Ohio State Football

Ohio State Football: Is Vonn Bell the Next Donte Whitner for the Buckeyes?

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.
Tim BielikSenior Analyst IJuly 12, 2013

Safety Vonn Bell didn't make things easy for Urban Meyer and the Ohio State fans, as he kept them all in suspense until national signing day when he declared for and signed with the Buckeyes.

In Bell, the Buckeyes got quite possibly their best safety prospect in a very long time. He has the versatility to play both safety positions with his hitting and quick hands.

He could possibly step in very quickly and provide some much-needed depth to a position that hasn't had significant depth in a long time.

Ohio State has had some very good safeties in the last decade, including Mike Doss and Kurt Coleman.

However, Donte Whitner has had arguably the best pro career of any safety OSU has had in the past decade. He's set to enter his third season with the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

Bell and Whitner do share a lot of similar characteristics.

Whitner made a name for himself at Ohio State with his athleticism and ability to make big hits in the secondary. He was the enforcer in the back four and made receivers think twice about going over the middle.

Bell shows a lot of the same in his highlight film.

When Bell makes a tackle, he can stop a ball-carrier in his tracks and either bring him down to the ground or stop him and let his teammates finish the play.

He also has the speed and athleticism to make all sorts of plays in the secondary, which will make him very dangerous.

His biggest weapon, though, is his versatility.

Bell can either play the enforcer in the secondary like Whitner or he can play center field and be the last line of defense in the passing game.

He will probably play almost immediately because of the lack of depth at the safety position. If either C.J. Barnett or Christian Bryant goes down with injury, Bell may be forced into action.

OSU's 2013 recruiting class was already one of the best in the country before Bell declared his intentions. His signature was the icing on the cake for the class.

This fall, he should have a huge impact on the Buckeye defense. He looks a lot like Whitner and hopefully will have the same type of impact.


Follow me on Twitter @bielik_tim for the latest college football news and updates.

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