Vonn Bell spent his Saturday enjoying the thrills of the Six Flags Amusement Park. It was a needed break after one of the most important -- and sometimes difficult -- days of the Ridgeland High School football star's young life.
Bell, rated one of the top safety prospects in the country according to recruiting services, spent a big part of Friday informing 20 prominent football programs across the country that he no longer would be considering them for his future matriculation. What was bad news for the likes of Notre Dame, Auburn and UCLA was in turn great news for the seven schools still under consideration.
According to Bell, in no official order, the finalists are Ohio State, Texas, Clemson and four Southeastern Conference Schools -- Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
"It was real tough because all the schools that offered were high-caliber programs, but I realized I had to break it down sometime," Bell said. "Now I'll have to start setting up [official] visits and hopefully get to know the schools a little better."
Bell said there was no clear-cut leader among the seven.
"All the schools are great," he said. "There are national champions and national contenders and schools with great educational programs. Each category is covered, so I feel I can't go wrong."
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder hopes to further narrow his choices "to two or three" by Labor Day.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...