published Monday, January 9th, 2012

Owls LB Rudwall commits to Tennessee Tech

It only took one visit for Jay Rudwall to know where he would continue his football career. Ooltewah's senior linebacker committed to Tennessee Tech while on an official visit to the Cookeville campus over the weekend.

"Everything just seemed to fit. I really felt comfortable about everything and just decided that's the place for me and there's no need to look anywhere else," said Rudwall, who was also being recruited by Holy Cross, Eastern Kentucky, Furman and Henderson State. "I can be on my own a little but it's also not too far away from home, so I liked that and I felt real comfortable with the other players I hung out with and all the coaches I'll be playing for.

"They also offer both majors I'm interested in [pre-med and dentistry], and I believe there's an opportunity for me to get on the field and contribute early. I'm very excited about the future and possibilities at Tech.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Rudwall has been a tackling machine for the Owls as a two year starter, making 138 total stops last season and finished his varsity career with 270 tackles.

"They targeted him after he went to camp there this summer and did a really good job of recruiting him and showing him they really wanted him," Owls coach Shannon Williams said. "He's a really good fit for them. He's a true middle linebacker at that level, an inside-the-box run stopper. And he's versatile enough to contribute at linebacker, deep snapper and special teams.

"In three years I wouldn't be surprised if he's on the cover of their media guide because he's that type leader. He's a great character kid and a heck of a football player."

Georgia offers Bell

Ridgeland junior safety Von Bell was extended an official offer from the University of Georgia on Saturday, but has not yet committed. It was Bell's first offer from a Southeastern Conference school.

"I'm very honored to get an offer from a program like Georgia," Bell said. "I'm not ready to make a verbal announcement on anything yet, but it was pretty special to hear them make that offer."

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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