Antonio Bell is one of the best players from the Tampa, FL area in the Class of 2021.
The 5-foot-9, 127-pound Bell, who attends school at Lealman, is a dynamic player that works on both sides of the ball as a quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback.
Bell, who plays for the Largo Jr. Packers, has earned plenty of recognition during his outstanding youth career, such as winning the Heisman Trophy, Player of the Year and being selected to the Pro Bowl.
Bell is humbled by the accolades.
“It means a lot to me because I can go back to that and think about my memories,” Bell said. “It felt amazing being in the Pro Bowl game to play with other players. It makes me want to continue to get better every day.”
No matter the opponent, on each snap Bell is determined to give it his all.
Bell is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Bell steps between the lines.
“My mindset is that nobody can't guard me and to be very confident at all times,” Bell said. “I want to make the opponent have to work for everything they get.”
Bell has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the gridiron. Bell tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.
“What I most like about playing football is the respect I give to others and like meeting new teammates and scoring and I love it because football keeps me focus,” Bell said. “I love being in the locker room after a win.”
Bell has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.
The main one is applying perspective to all situations.
“Football has taught me so much about life in general,” Bell said. “It taught me that that I can be bumble and an all-around player.”
Bell recalls his favorite football memory.
“My favorite memory was winning the Heisman and winning the Super Bowl. Those moments made me feel very proud,” Bell said. “Those are moments that I’ll never forget.”
James Miller has coached Bell for one year with the Largo Jr. Packers.
Miller explains the best parts of Bell’s game.
“He is an all-around athlete. His two best positions are cornerback and wide receiver and he can also play quarterback. The best part of his game is vision and versatility he just had a feel for the game,” Miller said. “At quarterback, he could be a dual threat. He can throw and run, so pick your poison. At wide receiver, he is pretty much unguardable when he is on his game. His hand eye coordination is second to none. At cornerback, he thrives off guarding the opponents’ best receiver and shutting them down. He won’t many balls get thrown his way.”
Bell takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Bell makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“I demonstrate being a good teammate by being a leader and a big brother to my teammates,” Bell said. “The best advice I given my teammates is keep your head up and keep grinding.”
Miller adds that Bell is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.
“He demonstrates leadership with his play on the field,” Miller said. “That kind of attitude is contagious to the rest of the team and really rubs off on his peers.”
Bell is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.
“I've learned a lot from my coaches on how to be a better player and person on and off the field,” Bell said. “I learned that I have to keep my attitude out my way and to be open to other options and not just one.”
Miller is an advocate of Bell’s capabilities.
“He had made so many big plays it’s kind of hard to narrow it down to just a few,” Miller said. “The end zone is his best friend and they’re going to meet once or twice a game.”
In addition to making clutch plays, Bell also has a high level of football IQ as well.
Bell has excellent football awareness that puts him in position to thrive.
“He pretty much knows what’s happening on the field before the play is snapped. That’s why he gets open a lot,” Miller said. “He’s a very smart player that always puts himself in a position to be successful on the field.”
Bell is on the grind to perfect and hone his craft in any way possible.
“He has a good work ethic and he likes to work on his craft to make his game just that much better,” Miller said.
Miller explains why he compares Bell to these players.
“On offense, he is a mix of Lamar Jackson and Julio Jones. When he is at quarterback he can beat you in more ways than one like Lamar Jackson and when at receiver he has the height speed and strength like Julio Jones to make any defense frightened,” Miller said. “On defense he is like Richard Sherman: tall, good range, and the footwork to lock down any receiver he faces.”
Bell patterns his mentality after this standout.
“Stefon Diggs because he's aggressive, he like to dance and never gives up,” Bell said.
Bell is constantly striving for greatness in everything that he does.
“My goal on the field is to make it to the pros,” Bell said. “My goal off the field is make it to the make my dad proud and get a good education.”
Bell has his sights set on becoming a Florida Gator or Clemson Tiger.
“I feel like I could do a lot at either school,” Bell said. “They both are great universities with great football traditions.”
Bell lists math as his favorite subject in school.
“I really feel like I can relate to it and it’s a subject that comes easy to me,” Bell said. “Math matters a lot in life.”
Miller outlines the areas of improvement that will take Bell to the next level.
“We work on him improving his attitude,” Miller said. “He loves the game so much that he tends to wear his emotions on his sleeve but he has improved in that area so much this season.”
Miller believes the sky is the limit as long as Bell continues to stay hungry.
“He has the potential to be a top D1 athlete,” Miller said. “Don’t be surprised if you see him playing on Sundays.”
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