David Bell doesn’t mince words when discussing what Iowa must do to earn his commitment.
“Iowa has to prove they can actually throw the ball,” the 4-star 2019 wide receiver told Land of 10’s Ryan Donnelly on May 10. “In previous years, they’ve just been a run team.”
Bell and his Warren Central (Ind.) High School teammate, 3-star offensive lineman Justin Britt, are two of Iowa’s top 2019 recruiting targets. Each has a specific idea of how the Hawkeyes can come out on top in their recruitments.
For Bell, it centers on Iowa’s aerial attack.
Wide receiver worries
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Bell arguably is the top recruit on Iowa’s board. The competition is fierce with Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Penn State and Indiana in the mix.
Turning around a passing game that ranked No. 118 and No. 93, respectively, the last two seasons, isn’t just vital to Iowa’s 2018 season. It’s important to Bell’s recruitment.
He likes the progress Iowa has made in recent classes, bringing in seven wide receivers in 2017 and 2018. Now he wants to detect progress and whether the Hawkeyes will utilize their wide receivers more.
“They’ve got some good offensive weapons and receivers coming in the 2018 class,” Bell said, “so we’re just going to see how the offense throws this upcoming season.”
Iowa and David Bell
The good news for the Hawkeyes is that Bell will give them a chance. He doesn’t plan on taking any official visits until November and December and isn’t planning on committing until after his senior season.
Iowa built a relationship with Bell early, before his recruiting took off. He took his first unofficial visit in November 2016. He visited again on March 31.
Bell has a good relationship with the coaching staff and Iowa is selling him on early playing time.
“They said I’ve got a chance to come in and start as a freshman if I go in, work hard, gain a few pounds and learn the playbook quick,” Bell said.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball rates Ohio State as the favorite to land Bell. The Buckeyes also are selling early playing time.
“Ohio State is saying that they’re losing almost all of their receivers this year, and the 2018 class, they’re trying to hold up one guy,” Bell said. “If I came, I could probably start there as a freshman, too.”
Justin Britt’s decision
Iowa’s recruiting task with Britt is a little simpler.
“Just keep doing what they are doing,” Britt told Land of 10’s Donnelly on May 10. “They are making it hard for me to decide.”
Britt’s top three programs are Iowa, Purdue and Indiana. He loves the idea of playing in-state and believes it’s something prospects should consider.
But the Hawkeyes are making it hard for him to stay true to his beliefs. Iowa offensive line coach Tim Polasek visited Britt on May 10.
“I love [recruiting coordinator Kelvin] Bell’s energy,” Britt said. “I like the way he coaches. I like Coach Polasek’s energy. I love the way he coaches. I like the way Coach [Kirk] Ferentz isn’t going to leave at all. He is going to stay there. Just the fact that everyone is going to stay there and they’ve been building something for a while and it’s just going to continue to grow.”
The 6-4, 286-pound Britt will take an official visit to Purdue on June 8. He’ll head to Iowa for an official on June 26. He’s still trying to schedule a trip to Indiana.
Britt originally planned to commit June 30, but he changed his mind last week and plans to commit at a later date.
Iowa does hold a secret weapon in the recruitment of Britt and Bell. Incoming freshman defensive back Julius Brents was their high school teammate and isn’t afraid to explain the benefits of Iowa.
“They are like my two little brothers,” Brents said. “David, he has been getting a lot more attention now, but I know Iowa is in his mix. … So all the Hawkeyes out there, be on the lookout. You never know. You might have another Indianapolis native from Warren Central.”
The Hawkeyes know what it will take to make it happen. Now, comes the hard part.