Neal Brown Talks About Jimmy Bell’s Return to the Game of Football
On Saturday, WVU head coach Neal Brown went into detail about basketball big man Jimmy Bell’s return to the game of football. It was reported earlier this week that Bell will practice for the remainder of spring ball with the football team.
“What I do like about him is that he’s extremely coachable. Huggs says he was and he definitely is. He works hard,” Brown said. “I think he’s had an open mind on this and I went into it with zero expectations.”
Jimmy Bell on Trial Run, According to WVU Football HC Neal Brown
Bell (6-foot-10, 285 pounds) has not played football since he was in high school. The Michigan native went down to play prep basketball in Arizona and the program didn’t have a football team, so Bell stuck to basketball ever since. Bell has played at Saint Louis, Moberly Area CC (JUCO) and West Virginia for basketball the last four years.
In the last couple of years, there have been multiple Big 12 basketball players making the switch to football. Baylor’s Mark Vital and Texas Tech’s Marcus Santos-Silva all transitioned into a professional football careers after basketball, both playing tight end.
Brown said on Saturday that Bell has practiced with the offensive line and some of the tight end position.
“He has some knowledge of playing the game but we went two weeks and just did fundamentals,” Brown said.
Brown did say that Bell has had some moments of taking adjusting to not playing basketball.
“The biggest difference is we use our hands in this game. Coach [Matt] Moore, I’ve heard him say this multiple times this week, you’re not fouling out. There ain’t no foul outs in this game,” Brown said. “So just him getting used to punching and the importance of ball get off.”
Bell will participate in the remaining spring session with the football team but is still with the basketball team as of now.