Arkansas athletics/courtesy
Jamario Bell has played lots of different positions since arriving at Arkansas.

Randy Ramsey and La’Michael Pettway stood out in spring, but this guy has a big chance, too

Eric Bolin
SEC Country reporter Eric W. Bolin will candidly answer your Arkansas Razorbacks sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryHogs or by email to Eric at ericwbolin@gmail.com.

Question of the Day: Thursday, April 12, 2018

arkansas-arkansas football

The big one who jumped out at me during Arkansas’ spring game was Jamario Bell.

The Juntion City product has spent four mostly ordinary years with the Razorbacks. A 4-star defensive end recruit, he, like many who come from small high schools, spent his first year in college as a redshirt. Former coach Bret Bielema and his staff moved Bell to tight end during spring of that year. When the season came around, Bell did nothing at the position and the following spring they switched him back to defense, this time as a linebacker. He missed the 2017 season with an injury and has more or less been an afterthought since arriving.

Really, it’s a shame. Some thought of him as a bust of sorts. That high of a recruit and he’s never really seen the field? The disappointment was understandable. Honestly, when he received all those reps during the spring game, I figured the biggest reason for it was the absence of McTelvin Agim and Dorian Gerarld. Agim is the best player on the front four and spent a good chunk of time at defensive end — though they’re playing him a lot at defensive tackle this spring — and Gerald is the No. 1 defensive end junior-college recruit in the country. Someone had to get reps, so why not Bell?

Then he absolutely had a game to remember. Bell’s strip-sack of quarterback Ty Storey to end the first half led to a defensive touchdown. The play was a bit controversial because quarterbacks aren’t usually touched in the spring, but first-year coach Chad Morris let it hold up as a clean play.

It was not unusual for Bell that day. He seemed to be everywhere, to use a non-technical term. Granted, it was the eye test and not analytical, but the man looked like he can be an actual player on the Arkansas defensive front this year.

It remains to be seen how much of an opportunity he will get. Agim will be back in the fall, and Gerald will be on campus. Randy Ramsey may have had an even better day than Bell coming off the edge. But it’s safe to start whispering the name “Jamario Bell” in conversations again. For the first time since he moved to Fayetteville, he might get a shot.