Trinity Bell gives the Tennessee football Volunteers an elite crossover prospect.
In 2020, Tennessee football recruiting secured a top 10 class, and Tennessee basketball secured a top five class, largely due to the commitment of Malachi Wideman. A four-star wide receiver on Rivals, Wideman also was listed as a four-star wing player in basketball.
Well, it looks like the Vols are repeating that tradition of securing two-sport athletes in 2021. Three-star athlete Trinity Bell out of Albertville, Ala. committed to Tennessee football as a tight end and a defensive end.
However, at 6’7″ 250 pounds, Bell may not just play football. Rivals has the Albertville High School prospect listed as a three-star center in basketball as well. Adam Gorney and Corey Evans of the recruiting site listed Bell as one of eight two-sport athletes for 2021 and 2022. Here’s a bit of what each of them said.
Gorney: Bell’s frame and versatility stand out the most and there is a very high ceiling when it comes to his football future.
Evans: On the basketball floor, Bell is a big bodied center that has great touch and hands around the basket. He knows how to carve out his niche within the paint and has a solid feel for the game.
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Despite his listing as a three-star in basketball, Bell is not considered a commitment in Tennessee basketball’s 2021 recruiting class. However, if Wideman provides any precedent, it’s likely that Jeremy Pruitt will let him play for Rick Barnes.
Pruitt said back on National Signing Day that he would give Wideman the opportunity to play basketball. He also said that three-star athlete Dee Beckwith, who also committed to Tennessee football in 2020, would have the chance to play basketball.
Simply put, it seems that Pruitt is willing to give his athletes the opportunity to showcase what they can do elsewhere. Of course, there is a bit of a scheduling conflict, as basketball season starts in mid-November, and football season can last through late January if a team makes a bowl game.
However, two-sport athletes could just take part in both sports or they could wait until the end of football season to join the basketball program and then miss spring practice. Either way, Pruitt and Barnes deserve credit for allowing their athletes to maximize their potential. Bell looks like he will be joining the group of players able to do that.