Bell Ready to Seize the Moment against Hokies

By Tim Shoemaker on September 3, 2014 at 8:30p
Vonn Bell is listed as this weekend's starting safety

Sophomore safety Vonn Bell admits he was a little frustrated with the lack of playing time he received last year as a freshman.

Up until his performance in the Orange Bowl, where he recorded an interception against Clemson, Bell saw minimal time on the playing field. He made his first career start against the Tigers in Ohio State's 40-35 loss last year, but did not open the season against Navy as one of the starting safeties. Those spots went to Tyvis Powell and Cam Burrows.

Bell and Burrows had been in a battle all of camp and were listed as co-starters Week 1. But when the Buckeyes took the field for their first defensive series against the Midshipmen, it was Burrows who got the first reps.

“It was kinda tough. I just can’t get down on myself, I just gotta keep playing the game," Bell said Wednesday. "You gotta make every play that come to you and show the team, show the coaches why you wanna start and why you need to start so you gotta show out each and every day.”

In an interesting turn of events, Bell is listed as the lone starter on this week's depth chart against Virginia Tech, but head coach Urban Meyer said he and Burrows will split time again. Each played roughly 35 snaps last week against Navy, according to Meyer.

However much playing time Bell gets against the Hokies on Saturday, though, he will be ready for the challenge.

“I’m a little bit of a gamer. When the lights come on, I gotta come with it," he said. "I gotta show the fans, show the coaching staff so they can believe in me making plays for them so I just gotta do more as a young guy in practice and preparation.”

So what has been the key to Bell's improvement from his freshman year to this season?

“I feel way more confident. I felt I’ve grown up in the game, even with my teammates and everything," Bell said. "Communication, learning keys, preparation for games, I just feel more on point.”


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EvanstonBuckeye's picture

I see Vonn making a big play this Saturday. The Navy game had to be a bit frustrating for the DBs in that they were constantly coming up for run support. Va Tech will take more chances through the air.

+2 HS
ohiobobg's picture

Bosa might accidentally hurt someone......

"you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning"

+3 HS
johnjy78's picture

"accidentally" Haha


thirtytrap's picture

Gamer huh???  Gotta show up in practice every play against that great offensive team that you play every day then the coaching staff will believe in you.  Then you can be a gamer,

-3 HS
JJHerman's picture

I'm sure he gets that. But 'gamers' have something others don't. There are the ones, in basketball, who want the ball at the end. 

Or in football, make 1-handed interceptions to prevent TDs. I love those type of guys. Gamer is mentality + skill.

PowerfulPrimates are powerful....

+14 HS
thirtytrap's picture

True however what I was saying is that he has to impress the coaches enough to be called a "gamer".  Oh and I was one of the ones who screamed for him to play last year.  I hope that he competes like that all of the time.

+2 HS
Spider1944's picture

Thirtytrap, some clarification on Vonn Bell's comment of being a gamer: he was asked in an interview "if he considered himself a gamer?"  Now there are three responses, yes, no, or a Tressel response I.e. an answer that does not answer the question. I am glad Vonn answered the question. And I fully anticipate that he will back it up.

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

nm_buck's picture

That play was awesome.

gee I wonder where the DV came from.  

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

+5 HS
BuckeyeRealist13's picture

I used to never believe in the term "gamer" until Johnny Manziel. I understand why "gamers" don't always get their chance, it's not a good example to set to the guys on the team that you don't need to show out in practice as long as you can do it in the games. Having said that Bell is one of those guys, I don't care how he practices, I trust him on gameday. 

"You're damn right thats daddy" - Urban Meyer 

+1 HS
TresselourgodUrbanoursavior's picture

Did you ever see Steve Young play?

TresselourgodUrbanoursavior's picture

Its why he is my all time favorite

Spider1944's picture

If you mean the guy running down the field in an NFL playoff without his helmet? Ya that's a gamer.

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

+1 HS
steveoz49's picture

you can never have enough Bell.... Christopher Walken style. 

I'm sure someone out there can get the gif or the pic for us.  I'm not computer smart like that.

+9 HS
osu407's picture

I find it unlikely that the defense will be perfect in their new system in the first game in which it is truly being executed. Given this likelihood, our best course of action is to put our best athletes on the field and hope they can make up for our lack of experience with athleticism and grit. Bell certainly  fits this mold. Now we just have to let him go out there and make one handed interceptions, or whatever opportunity presents itself. 

whobdis's picture

Some guys just have a knack for making plays in games that don't really show in practice. I remember Conley talking about Joe practice he looked like a 'wasted scholly' (his words). But in the games he just seemed to make plays.

+2 HS
tussey's picture

It sounds like he needs to practice better.  Purely speculative, but I wonder if during games he is just going out there and playing and during practice he is thinking, which would then lead to him not playing as well during practice as opposed to games?

+2 HS
chemicalwaste's picture

I can't for the life of me understand why people get so downvote happy for any post that isn't done like a cheerleader and talking about the invincibility of players once they put on a uniform on game day. If you disagree, cool, disagree, but say why. Don't be a lazy puss and downvote and run. Upvote to cancel at least one. I'm sure I'll get some hatred.

I hear what you're saying. Thinking causes slow reactions. Slow reactions lead to bad plays. I have a feeling the coaches look more at it from the perspective of being able to trust players to be in the correct position so that other players know exactly where their help is. If he doesn't show that in practice, it's tough to trust him just on being a gamer. Although in the bowl game it looked like he had a beget grasp on the scheme in some situations some of the veterans.

+2 HS
tussey's picture

I here you, another thought picking up what you said is that he is trying too hard in practice to make plays to take over the spot and putting himself out of position if he is gambling too much and at times playing out of position.  Which could possibly lead to the lack of trust.

Alpo's picture

Absolutely loved Vonn as a recruit, just so much potential play making ability. I hope that with this opportunity, he can show all of us the goods, no better time than Saturday night in the shoe! 

+2 HS
ohiobobg's picture

The pick against Clemson would be the highlight of many a career. I see huge things in store for this lad.

"you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning"

+4 HS
jralvarez's picture

Honestly, I'm a big fan of Burrows & was his vocal champ, but Bell played so much better.


+5 HS
THE's picture

Yes. Yes he is ready...

As Dracula would say, "he is going to be vonn bell of a player, ah ah ah ahhhhhh!"

[[]] []-[] [] [[]]

+15 HS
CC's picture

Simply awesome. 

+1 HS
nm_buck's picture

that was so bad it was good

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

+6 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

It's time for him to play well on the big stage again. I believe that he will start the rest of the year after this weekend.

+3 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

I am so pumped for Bell. The kid is going to be legit

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+2 HS
Jdadams01's picture

He outplayed Burrows in the Navy game, so he gets first shot at the Hokies. He just seems to have an instinct for the ball. Was around the play a lot more than Burrows and, importantly, I didn't see him miss any tackles.

+1 HS
D-Day0043's picture

You don't hold a thoroughbred back, you cut him loose and let him run. 

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+1 HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

How bout a pick six against VA tech!

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

_muckfichigan_'s picture

It's been a long time since I was this excited to see our defense take the field.  I just have the feeling that the silver bullets are back

ShawneeBuck74's picture

Still so frustrated that this kid (and others) sat while our defense was like Swiss cheese.

No, I don't believe the "if they were ready to play they'd play " line.  That was likely coaches covering for each other, or themselves, after figuring out they blew the season with the terrible scheme and personnel choices.

You win with people. 

9 Units Strong. 


Spider1944's picture


I could not agree more. After Mike Mitchell was the 2nd most talked about freshman in fall camp till the last week. Then when asked where is Mike Mitchell? The response was he got dinged??? I still would like to know what happened there. I never thought I would see an OSU defense that inept. And certainly not an Urban Meyer team.

I hope he sticks to his comment to his assistant coaches "To coach them up because they are going to play."


"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Virginia Tech has a wide receiver that's 6'6" named Hodges that they will use in the red zone this week:(if they get there). This will be a good test for Ash and company and should be a good barometer of the secondary's effectiveness in their new scheme. 

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

Humbuck's picture

Considering VaTech settled for 2 FG's in the red zone and had a hell of a time punching it in to the end zone two other times they got inside the 20 against Bill and Mary I am not overly concerned about their passing game even in the face of our own secondary concerns. 

They only scored 34 points against a middle of the pack FCS team.  12 possessions and only 4 TD's, they were gifted the ball on the 2 yard line and the 28 yard line for 2 of their TD's.  Went 75 yards twice and got stoned at the gate, settled for FG's.  The fact that they didn't score 60 points and left their starters in until the last possession is telling. 

All of this with absolutely no pressure on their QB.  W&M's DL goes about 250 and they never brought blitzes. 

+1 HS
cinserious's picture

We got our own Hodges around here Va-Tech needs to worries about!

hodge, you lovable guy!

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Go get em Vonn - you deserve every bit of playing time. So excited to watch you play every Saturday for the next three seasons.

allinosu's picture

I really like the competitions we have this year. By sharing time it is a battle every week to improve.

Barnsey69's picture

It's a nice "problem" to have, but it is also obvious that Bell is a notch better...for now.

Hope he starts his Thorpe campaign is style Saturday night.


Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

NuttyBuckeye's picture

To steal a phrase from one of my favorite Rock songs:

Knock'em dead kid, knock'em dead!

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

808buckeye's picture

I wonder if they should play hells bells every time he makes a play

seize the carpe

+2 HS
ANCHORSAWEIGH330's picture

i kno this is a forum about bell but anybody in columbus seen raekwon mcmillian i thought for sure hed be a starter


kareemabduljacobb's picture

Bell with a pick 6 this weekend. Book it. Hopefully.

BuckeyeinGA's picture

Bell was better than Burrows against Navy. He deserves the start.  Period.   End of story. 

Does he remind anyone else of a former Buckeye safety---1st round draft pick...oh what was his name????

Oh yeah...Donte Whitner


Bleeding-Scarlet-Grey's picture

I think because of the triple option the coaches wanted a little bigger body to take on blocks and started burrows. Now with vatech and the tx tech transfer qb who can sling it all over the field, they want more of a cover guy and are starting bell.

Brother man, I have MADE and LOST millions in my lifetime.... Brain cells that is! How I made those millions I do not know because the secret has been lost in the millions I have lost!!!! ~ Taco