Add another option to Herb Hand’s offensive line contingency plans.
Florida State offensive line grad transfer Wilson Bell has committed to Auburn, a source confirmed. Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports was the first to report. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive lineman will be eligible to play immediately after graduating from Florida State this spring.
His addition comes at a pivotal time for Auburn, as the Tigers’ offensive coaching staff continues to sort out vacancies on the offensive line. Hand spoke to reporters last week and called the left guard spot “probably our biggest question mark, I guess is the best way to put it.”
Bell has spent most of his college career at right guard, starting all of the Seminoles’ games in the 2015 season as a redshirt sophomore. He had a more difficult fight for the starting guard role during his redshirt junior season.
Hand said Marquel Harrell, Kaleb Kim, Mike Horton, Austin Golson and Tucker Brown have all taken reps at the position this spring. Bell’s name will likely fit in there once he arrives.
“That’s the piece of the puzzle we’ve got to figure out the most. That’s yet to be determined. Nothing is really determined yet, but just during the spring practice, that’s probably been the one question mark position,” Hand told reporters last week. “When you have a guy, Alex Kozan, who’s really been the anchor there for so many years, it’s a natural deal.”
Bell is originally from Mobile, Ala., where he was a 3-star offensive guard recruited to Florida State by now-Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Auburn was heavily involved in Bell’s recruitment out of high school. The Tigers hosted Bell in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day when Auburn, Ole Miss and Florida State all began battling to flip Bell from Central Florida.
Bell redshirted for the Seminoles in the 2013 season when Auburn and Florida State faced off in the national championship.
This is the second offensive line graduate transfer for Auburn this offseason. Casey Dunn committed to Auburn earlier this spring after a successful FCS career as a two-time All-American at Jacksonville State.
Hand also addressed the usefulness of grad transfers to the offensive line room.
“There are plusses and minuses to everything obviously, but the thing you want to do with any guys like that is make sure they’re a good fit,” Hand said. “You don’t want to bring people into your fold that are going to be disruptive or not going to be great for chemistry.”