On Sunday, Skyler Bell declared his decision to play for Wisconsin at the next level.
A day later, he unsurprisingly felt "great."
"I felt the love from the Wisconsin fan base, from the recruits," Bell told AllBadgers.com on Monday afternoon. "They put me in the group chat probably three minutes after I committed and joined the family. I felt at home right when I got there, and it feels great, and I'm glad to be a Badger.”
Bell became Wisconsin's 16th commitment for the 2021 class this weekend, the first as a projected wide receiver. According to the prep standout, he chose the program because they viewed him as "their No. 1 priority at my position."
“Not that the other schools didn't, but Wisconsin, I really felt that they had zero receivers committed, and they said that they wanted me to be that guy in this class," Bell said. "I kept thinking about that, kept thinking about that, and it turned out to be the perfect fit for me.”
In a conversation with AllBadgers.com on Sunday, The Taft School head coach Tyler Whitley said Bell's "ultimate goal was to play in the NFL" and wanted to go to the school that could get him ready for professional football.
What makes Bell feel Wisconsin could get him to that level?
“I saw something on Twitter and it said, Wisconsin … or Coach Chryst is No. 1 the nation for developing kind of under-recruited players into the NFL," Bell said. "Me being there, I wouldn't say I was super under-recruited, but I definitely thought that some schools that didn’t offer me, I thought should have.
"I keep that chip on my shoulder, so when I play against them, I'm going to remember that. I'm hoping that Coach [Paul] Chryst and that staff develop me into an NFL receiver.”
Bell knew he was going to commit to UW last Wednesday. That was when he spoke with Chryst, wide receivers coach Alvis Whitted and tight ends coach Mickey Turner.
Not even one of the commits for the class at that point, he recalled how he "felt the love" and felt that they were already his coaches and family.
"I knew right then and there that Wisconsin was the place I wanted to be," Bell said.
According to Bell, he believes the actual conversation of telling the staff of his decision came on Friday the 14th, just a couple days after that Wednesday chat. According to the wide receiver, that phone chat involved all three of the aforementioned coaches.
The one word Bell used repeatedly in describing their reaction.
"I was talking with Coach Chryst, and he was excited. He was hyped, and Coach Turner as well. They were hyped and got me even more hyped," Bell said. "Coach Whitted was ecstatic. He texted me right after I got off the phone with him about how excited and pumped he was to coach me and how we're going to do great things.
"I feel the love, and I can't wait to get on campus.”
That should be "back on" campus for Bell, who confirmed to AllBadgers.com that he made a quick trip into town on Monday, Aug. 10. 247Sports's Brian Dohn first reported that particular news on Sunday, and The Athletic's Jesse Temple and BadgersWire's Asher Low noted the recent trip to the Midwest as well.
Bell also acknowledged a trip down to Iowa City a day later to get a feel for both schools (the visit to Iowa was also reported by The Athletic).
Though the recruiting dead period was recently extended through Sept. 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recruits can go on-campus at this time to visit schools on their own with their families. However, they cannot connect in person with the Wisconsin coaching staff.
Bell saw Camp Randall Stadium -- "one of the greatest stadiums in college football," in his words -- along with State Street, the state capitol and one of Madison's lakes.
"All around, the social life, everything, it just felt like home," Bell said. "Me and my family loved it and so we ended up picking Wisconsin.”
Last season, Bell caught 36 passes for 549 yards and eight receiving touchdowns in 2019 for The Taft School in just eight games. Whitley praised the versatility of his receiver not just for playing that position but also being a starting safety and a returner.
For what could be at the college level for Wisconsin, Bell believes he will be used in different ways on special teams and on the offensive side of the ball.
“Jet sweeps, and I'm going to be hopefully a return for them, punts or kicks," Bell said. "At receiver, they said I could play all three positions--inside three, inside two, or even the outside to the boundary or outside to the field--so they're looking to use me in a variety of ways.
"Just use my versatility to our advantage, and give me the ball and just let me be a playmaker and be dynamic and explosive.”
Editor's note: Clarified wording on Bell's thoughts in section on how he himself "felt the love" and felt that the coaches were already his coaches and family.