Rising senior Trinity Bell of Albertville grabbed headlines this week when he released his top eight schools for football on his Twitter account.
The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Bell named Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Indiana, Purdue, Nebraska, Kentucky and Central Florida as his leaders. Rivals.com ranks him the No. 11 prospect in the state’s class of 2021, while 247sports.com lists him at No. 15.
Albertville head coach Cliff Mitchell said Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt is the only head coach who has come to Albertville to visit Bell. Pruitt, the son of former AHS coach Dale Pruitt, gave Bell his first scholarship offer in football.
“I know Trinity still has some basketball offers out there,” Mitchell said. “Trinity has a special opportunity. The sky’s the limit for him. I think he can play both. It’s all up to him.”
Mitchell said Bell hasn’t decided whether he wants to play football, basketball or both in college.
“We talk about once a week outside of our Zoom meetings just to kind of see where his head is and kind of what he’s thinking,” Mitchell said. “There are a lot of coaches contacting him.”
Mitchell said the Aggies feature a “really, really special senior class,” and he’s confident Bell won’t be the only one to play college football.
“We love this senior group that we have,” he said. “It’s probably one of the biggest in Albertville’s history, sitting at around 36 players at the moment, and all of them are huge contributors to Aggie football. Several have a chance to go play at the next level if they want.
“Jordan Knight and Zion Davis are guys who haven’t gotten looked at a ton. When coaches come through here, those guys will make you do a second look.
“Chi [Jordan] has been offered by Samford. A lot of other schools are asking about him.
“Ben Allen and Cade Boman are two guys coaches send me stuff on. Trent Jones is another one that colleges are asking about.
“Recently, steam has picked up on Jackson Godwin from some smaller colleges. The Citadel, VMI and those type places are talking to him.”
The coronavirus pandemic is preventing college coaches from visiting high schools to do on-campus evaluations this spring.
“What I’m missing right now is those coaches coming through here and getting to see our guys,” Mitchell said. “It’s a missed opportunity.
“A lot of it now is how can you get in touch with coaches, because every coach is like me — they’re just sitting in an office by themselves looking at their phone or trying to build their classes. One of our jobs as coaches is to help those guys who want to go play at the next level get there.”
Mitchell said college coaches are using Twitter, email and calls to contact recruits.
“If you don’t have a Twitter account, you almost can’t be a coach from what some of the college coaches have told me,” he said. “That’s how they get in touch with the kids.”
Mitchell provides coaches who ask for his 2021 recruits a spreadsheet listing ACT scores, grade-point averages and Hudl links to their highlights.
“A lot of recruiting now is marketing yourself,” Mitchell said. “As a player, you can do that through Twitter. The more you put out there, I think the more it kind of takes hold. I send out stuff to colleges, and the kids do their part by Twitter and Instagram.”
The Aggies’ 2021 senior class will lead the program into their inaugural season of Class 7A competition. Albertville’s first 7A region game is Sept. 4 at Sparkman.
“I know we’re making the jump up to 7A, but we all look at that as an opportunity and not a challenge,” Mitchell said. “We’re looking at it as a way to make a name for Albertville.”