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Purdue Player to Watch: David Bell

Head coach Jeff Brohm says the freshman WR could have an instant impact.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl - Purdue v Auburn Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Last year Purdue’s Rondale Moore burst onto the scene as a true freshman. Moore caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns, and set the Boilermakers’ single-season record with 2,215 all-purpose yards. He was named First-Team All-Big Ten and a consensus First-Team All-American. Moore enters this season as a contender for the Biletnikoff Trophy, awarded to college football’s top wide receiver.

So...how do you potentially make him even more dangerous? Pair him up with another elite playmaker.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Purdue
Purdue’s Rondale Moore (#4) dominated as a freshman. But new teammate David Bell should present a similar challenge for opposing coaches.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

David Bell is one of the prized recruits of head coach Jeff Brohm’s 2019 class. A four-star receiver from Indianapolis’ prestigious Warren Central High School, Bell re-wrote the Warrior record book. He was the best player on Warren’s undefeated state championship squad and led 6A — Indiana’s largest classification — in catches (85), receiving yards (1,542), yards per game (118.6) and touchdowns (22). Bell, the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year, finished his prep career with an eye-popping 240 catches for 4,467 yards and 55 touchdowns.

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm was understandably tight-lipped about Bell’s potential role when speaking at Big Ten Media Days last month. Brohm referred to Bell as an “outstanding talent that will possibly start for us, but has a chance to be a special player.”

Quite frankly, I don’t think there’s any way — barring injury — that Bell isn’t lined up with the first team on opening day. Purdue isn’t USC or Alabama or Clemson. You don’t recruit a player of this caliber just to stash him. He complements Rondale Moore perfectly and I expect Bell to get heavy reps right away. Bell is a smooth, fluid athlete who can make plays anywhere on the field. He’s a 6-foot-2 outside threat that will force opposing defenses to play Purdue straight up rather than double-team Moore. Incumbent quarterback Elijah Sindelar has to be ecstatic at the thought of having both of these studs on the field at the same time.

The Boilermakers were fifth in the B1G in points (30.5/game) and third in yards (443.9/game) last season. The tandem of Moore and Bell should help make Purdue’s offense even harder to stop.