Gray recruiting New Jersey DB hard for the Florida Gators

The Florida Gators had several of out of state prospects on campus on Friday including athlete Markquese Bell (6-3, 190, Bridgeton, NJ High) who got the chance to see Gainesville for the first time.

“That was my first visit down to Florida, it was great,” Bell said. “I got to see the coaches, talk to the head coach a little bit. I got to talk to some of the players, it was great to be able to get down there.”

Since there weren’t a lot of prospects on campus, Bell had the chance to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain.

“Coach McElwain was telling me how the school would treat me if I do decide to come there,” he said. “They said it’s a family atmosphere around there and they said that there are a whole bunch of Gators fan that will help me out after I graduate from there.”

Bell plays both sides of the ball in high school but on Friday he found out where the Gators are recruiting him to play at.

“Coach McElwain just told me yesterday that they were going to recruit me as a DB [defensive back],” Bell said. “Wherever I get on the field at the quickest is fine with me. I fit in good at DB at Florida because they lose some guys there this year.”

Since Bell is being recruited to play defensive back, the cornerback spent some time with defensive back coach Torrian Gray where he received a message from the Gators coach.

“Coach Gray says that my size and height is something that they’re really looking for,” he said. “He said that there isn’t that many big DB’s out there so I have that advantage over them.”

Gray and McElwain both made Bell feel at home during the visit to Gainesville on Friday as the both spent a lot of time with the New Jersey prospect.

“I spent equal time with Coach McElwain and Coach Gray during the visit,” Bell said. “I went to see Coach Gray at the indoor facility when they had some coaching meeting before practice. I had already met Coach Gray from when he had offered me at Virginia Tech.”

The Florida Gators are making sure that Bell knows he’s wanted in Gainesville, as Gray hits him up on daily basis to just check in with the defensive back.

“Coach Gray is always hitting me on social media asking to talk to me over the phone,” he said. “He sends me facts about the school and is trying to get to know me more as a person too. He’s telling me about the depth chart and that I can come in and play early.”

Now that Bell has been able to see the Gators, he says that he has a lot of interest in Florida as he gets ready to narrow down his list.

“I plan to start narrowing it down sometime next month,” Bell said. “I’m coming down here to visit Florida in June but I will narrow it down before then. I want to announce before the season so I can get it out of the way so I can focus on my team.”

INSIDERS TAKE: Bell was very intrigued by what he was able to see from the Gators during his short visit to campus. The key for the Gators is to get him back on a longer more in-depth visit sometime this spring or summer.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.


  1. This kids highlight video is big hit after big hit. He lights kids up. I didn’t think he was interested in Florida,but I’m really excited he is. I really hope they can get him. He can cover like a CB, but he hits like he’s already been playing safety for the Gators for a couple years.