Since 1985, the AJC’s Super 11 team has transformed into one of the nation’s most elite lists, consisting of the best 11 high school football players from the talent-loaded state of Georgia. Over the next few weeks, we’ll go over the top candidates for this year’s AJC Super 11, which will be released on Aug. 15)
The AJC Super 11 candidate: Sandy Creek QB Ronnie Bell
The skinny: The 6-foot, 175-pound Bell was one of the state’s biggest surprises last year, coming out of nowhere as a first-year starter at the all-important QB position to help Sandy Creek win the Class AAAA state championship, the first-ever football title for a Fayette County school. Bell completed 177 of 228 passes for 2,003 yards and 17 TDs with 6 interceptions.
Colleges: Bell is referred to by some scouts as “one of Georgia’s best-kept secrets” and has an early offer from Ohio at QB. He is also on the shortlist for QB scholarship consideration at Louisville, Vanderbilt, Air Force, and Georgia Southern, among others. Other high D1 schools like Bell as an “athlete” who can play QB, WR, or DB, along with all special teams.
They said it: “My preference is to play QB in college, but I would play any position on the field that would help my team win. My team winning is the most important thing to me.” — Ronnie Bell.
The lowdown: Bell’s duty last year was simply to “manage” or oversee one of the state’s most high-powered offenses, led by the AJC’s Class AAAA Offensive Player of the Year, RB Rajion Neal, who signed with Tennessee. Neal may have been Georgia’s most talented tailback by the end of his senior year — yes, ahead of MLK’s Mack Brown (signed with Florida), Southwest DeKalb’s Ken Malcombe (UGA), Loganville’s Storm Johnson (Miami) — but that’s another story for another day. Back to Bell: His No. 1 job last year was to keep the offense running as mistake-free as possible. Bell has always been admired for his leadership and, as the season progressed, he showed he could do more than hand-offs, rollouts, and short passes. Sandy Creek’s coaches gave Bell more freedom to make plays, which in turn transformed the team to nearly unstoppable down the stretch. Defenses could not key on Neal or they would be burned by Bell and his fleet of D1 wide receivers (three with major-college offers). Like most high school QBs, Bell needs to work on his mechanics. He throws from all kinds of different angles, but he always seems find a way to get the ball there. When he has time to set up in the pocket and follow through on his footwork, Bell hurls one of the most beautiful deep balls you’ll see in high school. He needs to learn how to protect the football a little better when taking off downfield, but he’s definitely a serious running threat when he decides to run — very physical and fast. If Bell has the choice of running out of bounds or over a DB, he’s probably going to choose the latter.
If it was completely my vote: Ronnie Bell is an excellent high school QB. I like him but he’s a long shot. I’m with the college recruiters on this one: I was pleasantly surprised with his junior year but I want to see if he can do it again as a senior. Was it for real? Or was I dreaming? The world will be watching his first 6-8 games.
Note: The AJC’s Super 11 team consists of the state’s top 11 senior football players, and not college prospects. It is selected by AJC staff members in a partnership with our friends from GHSFD, based on observing the player either in person or on film. A very important part of the process is getting recommendations and feedback from high school coaches from around the state, along with running the names by a few college coaches. It’s an imperfect process, but we do our best. The AJC’s 2010 Super 11 team will be released next month.
What are YOUR thoughts on this AJC’s Super 11 candidate, Sandy Creek QB Ronnie Bell? Please post below.
NOTE to kids reading this who want to play college football: Watch and study Bell’s YouTube video and you may want to consider putting together something like it for yourself. I love it. It’s very simple editing with nothing flashy (expensive and a total waste of money). College scouts want to see the plays, not the fancy graphics or music. Most importantly, this video shows Bell in all kinds of different play situations. A little bit of everything. It’s also edited very tightly, from a couple of seconds before the snap to about 1-2 seconds after the play. Overall, however, it’s a little long. Ideally, you want the video to go from 5-8 minutes and put your best plays in the first two minutes. If colleges want more film, they will request it. Anyways, you create the video, throw it up on YouTube and email the scouts the link. For more information on how to market yourself, click here