Bell gets NFL shot
Wallkill grad will work out for Green Bay
By Adam Bosch
For the Times Herald-Record
Alex Bell isn't discouraged by the "super sleeper" label.
"I don't always get the love I deserve, which is fine," Bell said. "I like to sneak up on people."
Bell, a 2001 Wallkill graduate, is trying to plow his 6-foot-3, 325-pound frame through the front door of the NFL.
Bell, a Hobart College senior, recently signed with an agent and will work out for the Green Bay Packers in April.
After a four-year career marked by several Division III all-America awards and championships as an offensive lineman at Hobart, Bell signed with John Perez of Perez Sports Associates in Newark, N.J.
Seeing a highlight reel of Bell mauling his opponents, coupled with a visit to Hobart during which Bell displayed his quick wit and one-liners, sealed the deal for Perez.
"With a lineman you don't really know what you have until you see film," Perez said. "Once we saw Alex's film, we knew right away that this guy can absolutely play."
Perez made a new highlight video, wrote a cover letter, compiled a list of Bell's awards and sent the package to some Canadian Football League teams and all 32 NFL teams.
The Packers called two weeks later and said they wanted their director of college scouting to put Bell through a workout. The director of college scouting flies coast-to-coast looking at players and gives draft-day recommendations to the team's general manager.
A Green Bay personnel assistant told Perez that Bell's tape was viewed by the college scout and the director of pro personnel, who was excited by Bell's size, power, explosiveness and raw talent.
"Teams are looking at him and saying he's very raw," Perez said. "When they see him on film, they like his quick feet and that he absolutely dominates."
Bell's workout with the Packers will include an interview before testing his bench press, 40-yard dash, vertical jump and other standards measured at the NFL combine.
Bell bench-presses 225 pounds about 28 times, runs a 5.05-second 40-yard dash and his vertical jump is high enough to enable him to dunk a basketball from a standstill.
"I'm right in the mix," Bell said. "When I first thought about the combine, I thought their numbers would amaze me, but nope, I'm right there."
Perez said the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL have also shown interest in Bell and that Bell's video made the second phase of the New England Patriots' evaluation process.
The workouts and the everyday college grind might be enough to wear down a college student, but Bell says he's approaching everything with focus, preparation and a little excitement.
"I'm not a bragger," Bell said, "but my personality is killer and I'm real athletic and explosive. I can jump through the roof and I'm pretty strong. I can play a little football, too. But seriously, I have to show them I'm a diamond in the rough."