Christian Bell announced on Wednesday afternoon that he was committed to Alabama, but the Hoover defensive end says he knew at the A-Day Game in Tuscaloosa that it was a done deal.

“It came to me when I was down there,” says the 6-4, 225-pound standout. “It wasn’t just one thing. There were a lot of factors. The atmosphere was great. The intensity and the passion down there was great.

“I liked everything I saw down there. I took my parents down there and they liked it. They were very comfortable. It just felt like home.

“I have a good relationship with Coach Saban. It gets better every time we talk. I also like a Coach Cristobal. He recruited me. He’s awesome. He’s just friendly. I get along with him really well.”

Bell is tall and rangy with good speed.

“I think my strength is me having a good pass rush,” Bell says. “They want to use me at Jack linebacker. They want to use me just like they do here at Hoover. They want to move me around. I can stand up and cover, and I can put my hand down and rush. They move me all over the field in high school, and the Alabama coaches think they can do the same kind of things with me there.”

Bell says he’s gained 10 pounds of muscle since last season. At A-Day, he measured at 6-4, 225 pounds.

“I think when I get down there, I can play at 255-260 and keep my speed and quickness,” Bell says. “They have a good strength program and I think they will help me to get bigger and still keep my speed.”

Bell chose Alabama over offers from Louisville, Mississippi State, South Carolina and UCLA.



His Commitment Was A Surprise

Nobody expected Leo Lewis to commit to Alabama at the recent A-Day Game. Not his high school coach. Not Alabama’s coaches. Not even Leo was expecting to commit. But the nation’s top inside linebacker from Brookhaven, MS pulled the trigger for UA. The shot was heard around the SEC, as Lewis also has offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

“When you show up and there’s 80,000 people in the stands for a spring football game, that’s a really strong selling point to the support and the expectations of the football program,” says Brookhaven head coach Tommy Clopton. “I think Coach Burns and their staff have done a great job of recruiting, and I think Leo was excited about being there with those other guys who committed that day. I think all of it added up to him committing.”

“It surprised me when I got the news he committed,” Clopton says. “It surprised Alabama. They were glad to get him, but I think it surprised everybody, because he had been very adamant that he was going to wait and let things play out until he felt comfortable. But he said that’s just the way he felt on that day.”

With signing day almost 10 months away, the recruiting process is far from over. Every school that has offered Lewis will continue chasing him until the end.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Clopton says. “If I was in their shoes, I’d still come after him.”

So how solid is Lewis’ commitment?

“This far away from signing day, I think it’s very difficult to say,” Clopton says. “I think Alabama has been one of his favorites from the first time we got the phone call from them. But these are still teenagers. A lot of things can happen in 10 months. But Leo is a guy you can trust. If he tells Alabama that he’s coming to Alabama, then I think that’s his intent right now. Does anything change over the next 10 months? I think only time will answer that.”

One thing for sure, Lewis would be a perfect fit in Alabama’s defense. He’s a big, strong, physical inside linebacker, and the Tide needs inside linebackers.

“You look up ‘inside linebacker’ in the dictionary and it should have a picture of him,” Clopton says. “He plays with great intensity. He’s what you would want in a middle linebacker. He really is. We had physicals a few days ago and he was over 6-2 and weighed in at 228 pounds.

“He’s also a ‘yes sir, no sir’ kind of kid. He stays out of trouble, does all the right things outside of those white lines. But when he crosses the white lines, he has a different demeanor. Very aggressive. He’s exciting to watch.”

“You don’t get this much attention if you don’t have talent,” Clopton says. “He’s worked hard to get where he is today.”

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