Bridgeton (NJ) four-star athlete Markquese Bell committed to the University of Maryland this afternoon, he announced at the Under Armour All-American Game.
The 6-foot-3, 194-pound athlete will primarily play defense in college — likely a hybrid safety, linebacker position — but because he was also a successful offensive player in high school, he is listed as an “athlete.”
Bell had an impressive offer sheet, as he had offers from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, Florida and Georgia. When all was said and done though, it came down to Maryland and Ohio State, which is putting together a class for the ages. When Maryland hosted many top recruits for official visits during the first weekend in December, Bell showed up too, even though he had already taken his official visit on Oct. 22, when Maryland defeated Michigan State 28-17.
Bell is the No. 181 player at any position in the entire country and the No. 3 player in the talent-rich state of New Jersey. He is the seventh-ranked athlete in the country and now the second-highest rated player in Maryland’s class, according to the 247sports composite rankings.
With several of members of Maryland’s defensive back corps graduating, Bell could find himself on the field as a true freshman. Head coach D.J. Durkin has shown that he will play the best players, regardless of how long they’ve been in the program. This past season, 16 true freshmen saw playing time and there’s no reason to think that trend will change in the immediate future.
With Bell’s commitment, Maryland holds in the No. 17 spot but moves closer to USC at No. 16. He is Maryland’s 29th commit in the class of 2017, which likely still is not finished growing.
Edited by Max Marcilla