It wasn't long ago that safety Vonn Bell of Ridgeland (Ga.) was a little-known prospect. Today, he's one of the South's most sought-after players.
For Bell, everything began to change Jan. 7.
That is the day Georgia, the first college to recruit Bell, offered him a scholarship.
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"It was Coach [Mark] Richt," Bell said.
On Wednesday, Bell received yet another offer, this one from Auburn. Schools such as Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, UCLA and Vanderbilt also have pulled the trigger.
Texas could be next.
"I was supposed to call them, but the coach was out," Bell said.
For Bell, all of the attention is welcome.
"It's pretty cool hearing about all the coaches and all the programs," Bell said. "I really enjoy it."
Asked which colleges have stopped by in 2012, Bell responded, "None so far. But they all say they're going to come by in the spring."
Thus far, Bell has visited only Alabama.
"I was there last Saturday for their junior day," Bell said. "It was a very good experience. The highlight was having a meeting with Coach Nick Saban. He was talking about how he wanted to make it official that Alabama wants me, and he offered me a full ride. He also was talking about wanting to make me a better person. It was more than about football."
What's next for the 6-feet-1, 190-pounder?
"I think I'm going to Auburn this weekend," Bell said. "It was an open weekend for me and my family. It's just a good weekend to take a visit and try to get out."
Right now, nobody leads, Bell said.
"We don't have any schools standing out," he said. "I'll wait until I visit all the campuses and see what they have to offer, then make a decision. I'm going to visit schools this spring - all the schools that have offered me right now. And there will probably be plenty more of them coming. I'm going to try to visit as many as possible."
In 2011, Bell had six interceptions. He recorded two the previous season.