Buzzing

Abdul Bello

Coaches from FSU, Florida, Auburn, Clemson and other places were at Addul Bello's spring game. There's a real buzz on the football new comer that has only played 28 quarters of football - six games last fall and a spring game on Thursday night.

Bello has come a long way in a short time.

He came to the central Florida from half away across the world. Bello moved from Nigeria to attend the boarding school Montverde (Fla.) Academy. He went out for football last fall and played 24 quarters of football.

That's six games.

Now the 6-foot-6, 298-pound offensive tackle is sitting on scholarship offers from Florida State, Florida, Miami, Alabama, USF, UCF, Purdue, Virginia, Marshall, Auburn, USC, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, and others. In all, he has 22.

It's an amazing story.

"We keep him humble," said Brian Triweek, Monteverde Academy's coach. "We keep him grounded. But the kid is so respectful to begin with. In his situation and not knowing who is who combined with all the attention he's getting, I think he has done a very good job with it."

Many times over the past few weeks to months, when Bello does get an offer, he typically knows nothing about that school.

"He has no clue," Triweek said. "None. I will sit him down in my office and point on the map. Here the University of Tennessee and point my finger on Knoxville in Tennessee. Here's Purdue. I have to point out these places on a map because he just has no idea."

For Bello, he's just trying to get comfortable with the game itself. He wants to better his game each and every day. It's something he worked hard on this off-season and certainly this spring.

"I am getting more and more comfortable," Bello said. "I feel like my pass protection is improving but it still needs a lot of work. I know I need to learn to keep moving my feet and finish my blocks off better. I am trying. I need to get much better. I want to get better. I really do."

Here's something telling. Bello looked good at the Orlando Nike Camp in March. Then came the one on one sessions and he didn't fare well. There, he got beat by the likes of defensive end Byron Cowart (Seffner Armwood). Then again, Bello is so new to the game.

"That [Nike Camp] was great for me," Bello said. "I know I didn't do too well. I was going against guys that were exceptional, with more experience. They have my athletic ability. They knew how to play the game that I am trying to learn. It was a great experience for me and it has made me better."

College recruiters won't be bothered but the lack of experience Bello shows today. What impresses everyone is his ceiling. Bello's upside as an offensive tackle is as good as anyone I can remember coming from the state of Florida at this position. And coaches are drooling at the possibility of getting this kid. He's just 16 and already has a 300-pound frame, long arms and tremendous feet and athletic ability. He's quick, can bend and shows good flexibility. Bello has the entire repertoire physically but just needs to work to get reps and work on his strength and technique.

Expect Bello to go camping with some schools this summer. But that will all depend on his transportation. Typically, that's his head coach.

"I know he wants to see some places and go to some camps and we will do everything we can but it will be tough," Triweek said. "I think he will go to schools like Florida and Florida State. After that I just don't know yet."

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