The Wolverine

December 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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48 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2022   COMMITMENT PROFILE M ichigan ended a two-month com- mitment drought in October by landing a verbal pledge from Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill quarterback/athlete Kendrick Bell. Rated a three-star prospect by On3, Bell took an official visit for the game against Penn State on Oct. 15 and made the call just a few days later. "The coaches really gained my trust on the visit," Bell said. "I feel like I'll have a successful future at Michigan, not just with football but also outside of football. After I talked to my dad about everything, I went ahead and put it out there." Bell simply felt at home at Michigan. Along with taking in an electric at- mosphere in The Big House, Bell also enjoyed learning about U-M's elite aca- demics, and strength and conditioning program, and meeting with head coach Jim Harbaugh. "I loved the game day and the win over Penn State," Bell said. "The fans and the atmosphere were great. I really enjoyed meeting Coach [Ben] Herbert and learning more about his plan for me. Meeting with Coach Harbaugh was one of the highlights. I enjoyed learning about the academics as well." Bell plays quarterback at the high school level, but also has the potential to line up at wide receiver or cornerback at Michigan. His future position was a topic of discussion during his sit-down meeting with Harbaugh, and it appears the versatile athlete will have an oppor- tunity to play multiple spots. "Coach Harbaugh asked me where I see myself, and I told him I see myself helping the team win," Bell said. "I'll play anywhere on the field to help the team win. He said they'll give me a shot [at quarterback] and if we can use you anywhere, we'll do that. I was all for it. I feel like I'm athletic enough to play defensive back or wide receiver." Bell earned his Michigan offer directly from Harbaugh earlier this fall, but he also built connections with a handful of staffers. "I really like Coach [Ron] Bellamy and Coach [Matt] Weiss," Bell said. "Coach Bellamy is a really cool guy. You can be friends with him outside of football. I talked a lot of football with Coach Weiss. Christina [DeRuyter] was great too. She got us where we needed to be during the visit. She's really nice and genuine." Bell also meshed well with his player host, freshman quarterback Alex Orji, during his official visit. "We clicked from the get-go," Bell said. "We still text now. We have a con- nection. I feel like we have similar play- ing styles and like the same things. We talked about how he liked it there, and he told me he really loves it even outside of football." Of course, Bell also has a special con- nection to the Michigan program. He is the younger brother of Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell, who was also an unheralded recruit. Ronnie led Michi- gan in receiving during both the 2019 and 2020 seasons and has been a top target for quarterback J.J. McCarthy this season. Ronnie played a big role in Kendrick's decision to side with the Wolverines. "I talked to my brother after the visit, and he asked me what I thought of ev- erything," Bell said. "I told him I liked everything and was thinking about committing. He said, 'What's stopping you?' I just told him how much I loved it, and he said 'Well, it sounds like you want to go there.' Michigan really took care of my brother, and I feel like they'll be able to take care of me as well. That was a big part of it." Like Ronnie, Kendrick will arrive in Ann Arbor with a chip on his shoul- der. Michigan was the only Power Five school to extend a scholarship. "I can't wait to prove people wrong," Bell said. "I've been doing really well this season. Flying under the radar hap- pens. It's up to me to show them why they messed up." — EJ Holland Talented Quarterback/Athlete Kendrick Bell Joins U-M Class Of 2023 Bell, the younger brother of U-M captain Ronnie Bell, is a three-star quarterback/athlete who pledged to the Wolverines in October after visiting for the Penn State game. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: Bell is an intriguing prospect who can play multiple positions at the next level. While he is still raw as a pure passer, he is capable of slinging the ball downfield and making plays with his legs. Bell could also play wide receiver at the next level. He has a slender build with plus athleticism and the ability to go up and get it — Bell advanced to the Missouri state track meet in the high jump. His height and length also make him an intriguing possibility at cornerback. Areas Of Improvement: Bell is going to get a shot to play quarterback, but he still has a long way to go from a mechanical standpoint. He's very much a project at the position and will need time to develop. While Bell has position flexibility, it's unknown what his ceiling is as either a wide receiver or cornerback at the next level since he strictly played quarterback in high school. Right now, he is an interesting athlete who needs to be molded. Michigan Player Comparison: It wouldn't be surprising to see Bell follow in his older brother's footsteps and transition to wide receiver. He actually resembles another Michigan pass catcher — Andrel Anthony. Like Bell, Anthony was a tall, thin, athletic prospect with a track background coming out of high school. Anthony, of course, had much more experience as a receiver, but Bell's build and athletic profile could lead him to follow a similar development path. — EJ Holland

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