Vonn Bell just finished his first season with the Black and Gold. WhoDatDish had the opportunity to hear from the man himself.
Bell was drafted in the second round in 2016 from Ohio State. He was first-team All-American in 2015 and first-team All-Big Ten. Furthermore, Bell was on the Championship team that beat the Oregon Ducks in 2015.
Now he’s made the jump to the NFL, and in his first year has made a tremendous impact. In one year, he notched over 87 combined tackles and a sack. Bell has proven he belongs in the big leagues. His career is just getting started. This interview gives you a little insight into where he’s come from, and where he’s going.
Dean Mullen: What was it like growing up in Tennessee?
Vonn Bell: My mom and dad worked at the YMCA and I went there everyday. My older brother really showed me the way. I was lucky to have two parents at home. I wouldn’t know where I’d be without them. Both of them with other family members really provided me with a consistent family structure.
DM: Vonn, can you tell me how faith has impacted your personal life on and off the field? It seems like that faith played a very important role then and now.
VB: That’s true. The blessings that have come my way have been countless. My mom started off with a devotion everyday and I go to a bible study every week. Of course, it’s a little tough on Sunday to get to church because I usually play on Sunday. God has no doubt blessed me and my family beyond words. Starting the day off with him to get the right mindset puts me in the position to be able to focus on what’s important.
DM: Fans are always curious like me to know what’s it like to start getting the scholarship letters in the mail while in high school. Can you give insight on what that process was like, getting letters recruiting you for college?
VB: Man, there were so many letters coming in that my mom had to help me put them in luggage bags. The letters came in everywhere. My mom really was instrumental in keeping things in perspective. Keeping things organized. I really felt appreciative from all the universities and my parents keeping me on the right path to be able to follow my dream.
DM: So what made you choose Ohio St.?
VB: Urban Meyer played a big role there. Following his career and knowing he’s won everywhere he’s been was where I wanted to be. Moreover, everything from the academic staff, the coaches, and the players gave me the impression of this is the place for me. Additionally, I felt that Ohio St. would give me the best opportunity to reach my goals.
DM: Was winning the national championship the highlight of your college career?
VB: Definitely. That win made me a part of Buckeye nation history forever.
DM: So after college, the drafting process started to come together. How did that process move about? In other words, did you know much as far as where or who was going to draft you?
VB: The process was no doubt intense. The whole thing from the combine to Pro Day lasted six days. The process was hard enough for anyone. As a matter of fact, I pulled my hamstring during that period. I was thinking this is bad timing. I wasn’t even sure if I could go. But I worked through it and it obviously paid off.
DM: Vonn, in your wildest dreams, did you ever think Michael Thomas and you would get drafted by the same team?
VB: Having one of your brothers on the team was great. Having someone to lean on was just an added bonus.
DM: So Vonn, you’ve had a great year no doubt. That being said, what has been the toughest obstacle coming from college to the NFL?
VB: The terminology was totally different. It took a lot of studying and repetition to get the lingo down in the NFL. Also, the quarterback level was so much higher each and every week. There’s so many things that happen before the snap and during the play.
DM: What about your best moment this year?
VB: Probably when I got my first sack or my first fumble.
DM: What about being in the Superdome the first time?
VB: It’s an electrical environment man. They cherish you and love you. You know they going to be there for you. You just wanna play really well for them.
DM: So what kinds of things do you do outside of football?
VB: I love fishing and the outdoors. Mini golf, bowling, and anything outdoors.
DM: How important do you think it is to have other hobbies?
VB: Obviously, it’s important to be a professional during the season. However, taking care of yourself is of the utmost importance and enjoying a regular life outside of the game