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Neal Brown Speaks on Jimmy Bell Jr.'s Transition Back to the Football Field

West Virginia men's basketball forward Jimmy Bell Jr. is working out with the football team and head coach Neal Brown gives some insight on his progress

West Virginia University head football coach Neal Brown stepped into the team meeting room on Thursday and announced to the media WVU forward Jimmy Bell Jr. had been working out with the team.

On Saturday, after a team scrimmage at Mountaineer Field, Brown met with the media and discussed Bell’s move to the football facilities. He noted Bell has natural abilities that crossover between the two sports and gave an example of having to guard out on the perimeter and keeping a smaller guy in front of him along the edge has its similarities, which is a credit to his footwork, but the there is a stark contrast.

“The biggest difference is we can use our hands in this game,” said Brown. “And (offensive line) coach (Matt) Moore tells him - I’ve heard him say it multiple times this week, ‘hey, you’re not going to foul out. There’s no foul outs in this game.’ So, just him getting used to punching and the importance of ball get off.”

Brown stated Bell primarily worked on fundamentals and cardio the first two weeks of camp. He had not played organized football since he was a junior in high school where he was getting looks from schools like Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Oregon and held an offer from Akron. However, he turned his focus to basketball and transferred to Bella Vista Prep School in Arizona and they do not carry a football program.

Brown noted Bell works hard and holds the same sentiments of men’s basketball head coach and Hall of Famer Bob Huggins that “he’s extremely coachable.”

Bell will have an evaluation after the spring practice period, and he will make his decision whether he wants to pursue a career in football or return to the hardwood. Brown already noted he made tremendous progress since arriving at camp but stated he went the situation with zero expectations.

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