The Florida A&M Rattlers head coach Willie Simmons supports defensive back Markquese Bell's NFL Scouting Combine invitation and confronts the Senior Bowl's missing invite via social media post.
On Tuesday, Willie Simmons used Twitter to state a case for his former star defensive back, Markquese Bell. The Reese's Senior Bowl had not extended an invitation to Bell to participate in the event. The Senior Bowl is an integral part of the NFL recruitment process where all prominent franchise executives, coaches, and staff have an opportunity to have "first meetings" with draft prospects.
Simmons' uneasy post read, "I’m still baffled as to why @FAMU_FB DB @MarkqueseB hasn’t been invited to the Reese’s @seniorbowl! Not only is he an amazing football player, he’s a phenomenal young man, a devoted grandson AND recent college graduate! I may be biased, but if there’s better I want to see them!"
Jim Nagy is Reese's Senior Bowl executive director and has an influential role in deciding the players for the game. NFL talent evaluators use the bowl game's practices and meeting sessions as a "meet and greet" with young professional football hopefuls like Markquese Bell.
Nagy took a sort of an exception to Coach Simmons' open social media blast to the Senior Bowl for the tardy invitation of Bell and responded, "Sorry you felt the need to address this on social media. I have friends on your staff that you could have gotten my contact info from. Our job is to select the best of the best from across CFB at any level for the NFL to evaluate and we take that responsibility seriously."
There is no official word from the Senior Bowl on if Bell will receive an invitation, but the 2022 NFL Combine has extended an offer for Bell to participate in their event from Tuesday, Mar. 1 to Monday, Mar. 7.
After the Florida A&M's lost to Southeastern Louisiana in the opening round of the FCS Playoffs in Hammond, LA, Bell told me that he hadn't decided on his next steps. A few days later, he tossed his hat in the ring for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Bell projects as a 3rd to 5th round player by several draft evaluators at the safety position. The smart and hard-hitting defensive back could become a surprise draft pick for teams in need of a talented defender.
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