Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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30 AUGUST 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY MIKE SINGER The Fighting Irish earned a major commitment July 1 when Houston The Kinkaid School class of 2023 corner- back Micah Bell announced his pledge to Notre Dame over Baylor, Duke, Harvard, Stanford, Tennessee and Texas. Based on some of the schools in that group, Bell is clearly a strong student and talented football player. Those two aspects were key in his decision to pick the Fighting Irish. "It's the best school athletically and academically for me," Bell told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "I always knew it was a really good school. They only let in 19 percent [acceptance rate], and they have a really good engineering program and business school. "It's the top school in the country. And the football speaks for itself. Those two factors right there make it a no-brainer." Bell received his scholarship offer from Notre Dame March 17 and made it to campus exactly three months later for his official visit. On that Sunday be- fore his visit wrapped up, Bell informed Notre Dame head coach Marcus Free- man face to face that he would be com- mitting to the Irish. "I told him that I was going to come here. He was like, 'Are you serious?' And I told him yes," Bell recalled. "He was fired up. He said that we're going to do something special." As much as Notre Dame's prestige on and off the field was important to Bell, the relationships he built with the Notre Dame staff were crucial as well. "They talked to me a lot; it was like I was already a player there," Bell said. "As busy as Coach Freeman is, he always makes time to talk to me. I know he has six kids and is a head coach, and that's a lot to deal with. "Coach [Mike] Mickens is really cool, and I like his philosophy. I like Coach Al [Golden], too. He's coming from the NFL and knows a lot. He's a really good defensive coordinator." On3 ranks Bell as a three-star pros- pect, the No. 67 player in the Lone Star State and the No. 40 cornerback na- tionally. According to the On3 Consen- sus — a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media com- panies — Bell is a four-star talent, the No. 19 recruit in Texas, and the No. 11 corner and No. 111 overall prospect in the country. Bell rushed 134 times for 1,118 yards and 9 touchdowns during his junior season in 2021, helping lead The Kinkaid School to a 9-2 record and a Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) cham- pionship. He also added 10 receptions for 72 yards. Defensively, he made 18 tackles (1 for loss). "A terrific cover corner, he is a quick- twitch athlete who loves to mix it up," Prep Football Report recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said of Bell. "He domi- nates in one-on-one matchups and insists on going up against the other team's top receiver. He plays with a lot of confidence and rightly so. "Another thing that impressed me about Micah is his ability to tackle. He will come up to stuff the run and is one of the more physical 160 pounders you will find." Bell was named the 2022 Texas Private School Male Track Athlete of the Year. He set SPC records in the 100-meter race at 10.46 seconds and 200 meters at 20.89 seconds. His 100-meter time ranked 17th and his 200-meter clocking eighth among high school juniors for the 2022 outdoor track season. His brother Dillon Bell, who is listed as a four-star wide receiver in the On3 Consensus, signed with Georgia in the 2022 class. Bell, who is ranked as the No. 7 pros- pect in the Houston area by the local NBC affiliate, has been invited to play in the 2023 All-American Bowl in San Antonio. ✦ COMMITMENT PROFILE MICAH BELL Notre Dame Dips Into Texas To Land A Speedster For Its Secondary Bell, the No. 40 cornerback nationally per On3, set Southwest Preparatory Conference records in the 100 meters (10.46 seconds) and 200 meters (20.89) en route to being named the 2022 Texas Private School Male Track Athlete of the Year. PHOTO COURTESY THE BELL FAMILY FILM ANALYSIS "Bell is one of the fastest defensive backs in the cycle. He's a little on the thinner side, but he can really go. He makes a lot of plays for his high school team. He shows playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. "A big thing for him will be continuing to fill out. He has the speed to turn and run with re- ceivers on the boundary, and Bell adds an im- portant component of speed to Notre Dame's secondary." — On3 director of scouting and rankings Charles Power "It's the top school in the country. And the football speaks for itself. Those two factors right there make it a no-brainer." BELL ON NOTRE DAME

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