Virginia Techs football office announced that backup tailback George Bell plans to transfer to Catawba.
Bell, who played at Jack Britt High in Fayetteville, is a rising redshirt junior who would have been battling for carries behind starter Branden Ore. Bell cited a desire to search for extended playing time as his reason for transferring.
The 5-foot-10, 224-pound Bell has battled injuries throughout his time at Tech he played in just four games last season, when he scored two touchdowns while recording 107 yards on 35 carries. He enrolled at Virginia Tech in January of 2004 and had 15 career rushes for 77 yards and four touchdowns in two seasons.Bell played in only three games as a Jack Britt senior due to a knee injury suffered during his junior season. He rushed for 529 yards and seven touchdowns in three full games before suffering the injury, and he had 279 yards in three games after returning from the injury as a senior. He gained 1,100 yards as a freshman and added 864 yards as a sophomore before missing four games with a broken wrist.Bell played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and he was rated the No. 4 tailback in the nation by Tom Lemming.Catawba coach Chip Hester said he couldnt comment on Bell until all paperwork is completed, but Bells transcript has passed inspection, and he has been cleared to be accepted as a student.
Catawba has enjoyed a strong relationship with Bell dating back to Jack Britts appearances at Catawbas team camps. Catawba assistant coach Matt Barrett, a Fayetteville native, has very close ties to the Britt coaching staff.
Catawba always recruits for need first. Running back, a position in which standouts Kory Fisher and Jamelle Cuthbertson return, was not a pressing need. But the chance to add a talent such as Bell was an opportunity Catawba couldnt pass up.
Coaches will be challenged to find carries for three potential all-SAC backs, but thats not a bad problem to have.
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