Wheeling Park grad Elijah Bell has enjoyed two tremendous seasons as a North Carolina A&T wideout. The 6-foot-1, 221-pounder enters his junior campaign has been listed on the preseason Black College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List. If the former Randy Moss Award winner stays healthy this fall, he would likely hold virtually every receiving record in A&T history. The Aggies open their season Saturday at Jacksonville State,
Bell was a good player at Wheeling Park, so he certainly wasn’t an unknown while at Wheeling Park. But his offers were from only smaller schools, so it’s hard to say WVU made a mistake by not offering. No other FBS programs did either, even those in the MAC or Conference USA. Could he pay at a Power 5 school now? Probably. But I wouldn’t classify him as a miss. Now those players that end up at Power 5 schools who WVU didn’t offer and then go on to great success, those are ones I’d call a miss, in my opinion.
An advantage high schoolers do not thing about when passed over by major school is that going to a lesser program could mean sooner (and more) playing time, allowing them to develop into a very good player.
Thanks for the update, and certainly congrats are due to Bell for his outstanding achievements.
One thing that I also try to look at when evaluating these situations is this — would the player in question be realistically competing with players on the current WVU roster?
Like many such debates on this issue, a lot of that is opinion, as it’s very difficult to quantify. Comparing the player to the others at his position that were offered scholarships does narrow it down a bit, but it’s tough to knock WVU’s WR recruiting over the past 3-4 years.
Again, not totally discounting the thought, and who knows? Bell might have blossomed at WVU too.