Michigan is no stranger to big-time New Jersey prospects. The Wolverines landed a total of six prospects from the state of New Jersey, including the two top-ranked players from the state of New Jersey. Not to mention, but the best player in the country in the 2016 class. Plus, the talented Michigan star redshirt Sophomore linebacker Jabrill Peppers is also from New Jersey. Ultimately, Michigan is no stranger to highly-rated New Jersey prospects and history shows they know how to land recruits from New Jersey.
Well, the coaching staff hosted one of New Jersey’s top recruits in 2017 Bridgeton, NJ (Bridgeton) four-star ATH Markquese Bell. Bell joined friends and 2016 Michigan signees Brad Hawkins and Ron Johnson Jr. for his first visit to Ann Arbor this past weekend.
“It was really good, I had a lot of fun at Michigan,” Bell mentioned about his visit. “During my visit, I had a good feeling of comfort. It was my first time there and I loved everything about the school. The spring game was good, I got to see the way they play and the type of defense they use.”
The coaching staff recruited Bell differently during his visit, they did not recruit him regarding football, but on what Michigan can do for him after he graduates and the connections he will have for the rest of his life.
“Coach Partridge told me about all the connections that a Michigan degree can do for me after football and how I could have a job right after college if football does not work out,” Bell said. “I really like Michigan as a football program, but having the kind of education that you can get at Michigan is a huge bonus and I like that a lot about Michigan.”
Bell spent most of his time in Ann Arbor with Michigan linebacker coach Chris Partridge, who has connections to the state of New Jersey. Partridge and Bell watched a lot of film and talked about how he would fit the Michigan defense.
“Me and Coach Partridge watched a lot of film and talked about where I would fit in the Michigan defense. Partridge is just a good and funny dude, he was telling a lot of jokes during my visit. They like me a lot on defense and think I can be a valuable addition to the defense. They see me as a hybrid linebacker and safety, similar to Jabrill Peppers.”
Bell got to hang out with and bond with some of the New Jersey early enrollees. Ahmir Mitchell and Kareem Walker were talking with him, along with Rashan Gary, Brad Hawkins Jr, Ron Johnson Jr, and Michael Dwumfour.
“No they didn’t really recruit me. They just said that Michigan is a special place and they would love to have me in Ann Arbor for the coming years.”
Bell’s first visit to Michigan was an absolute homerun for Bell. With that being said, he plans on visiting Michigan for an official visit in the fall.
“I will be taking an official visit to Michigan in the fall. I talked to Cesar Ruiz about taking an official visit to Michigan with me and he said he is still debating.”
– Shane Kinnee (Assistant Manager)