Linebacker Bell commits to Penn State for Class of ‘13

Posted: June 15, 2012

BRANDON BELL said he wasn't much of a Penn State football fan as a youngster.

But he always knew one thing about the Nittany Lions.

"That's Linebacker U," said Bell, a rising senior at Oakcrest High School in Mays Landing, N.J., who has become the first linebacker in the class of 2013 to commit to Penn State.

The 6-1, 220-pound Bell, a three-star recruit by rivals.com and scout.com, said he made up his mind to commit to Penn State after making his second visit to State College last week. He also visited in April.

"I knew it was the right place for me," Bell said. "I knew it was the place I wanted to be, a great institution with a great football program."

Bell said he had 12 scholarship offers and seriously considered committing to Rutgers. He said he made several visits to Rutgers.

"Penn State and Rutgers were the only two places I could see myself," Bell said.

Bell said he was impressed with Penn State coach Bill O'Brien as well as linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden, who was the point man in his recruitment.

"Coach O'Brien is a stand-up guy, which I like," Bell said.

Bell is rated by scout.com as the No. 13 linebacker in the class of 2013. Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 36 linebacker in the class.

Bell said he's projected as an inside, or "box," linebacker at Penn State.

"That's my position," said Bell, who plays inside linebacker and fullback for Oakcrest. "I like being the head of the defense, taking full responsibility for making sure everybody is in the right spot."

Bell generated 117 tackles last season, including 22 for losses. He had six sacks and forced three fumbles.

Bell also rushed for 429 yards and five touchdowns.

Bell is the second rising senior from South Jersey to commit to Penn State, joining Timber Creek defensive tackle Greg Webb.

Breneman hurt

Adam Breneman, a Penn State recruit for the class of 2013, suffered a knee injury Thursday, according to several web reports.

Breneman, who will be a senior at Cedar Cliff High in the fall and is considered one of the top tight end recruits in the country, confirmed the injury in a text message to Lions 247, a website that specializes in Penn State.

"Since the rumors are out I guess I'll make a statement. At our 7v7 today I did suffer a knee injury. We are unsure how minor or severe it is. Doctor Bixler said it could be very minor or it could be ACL. We should know in the next 24 hours after I get an MRI." n

The Daily News contributed to this report.

Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @PhilAnastasia. Read his blog, Jersey Side Sports, at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports

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