Two out-of-state linemen have decided to battle in the trenches for the Montana Grizzly football team.
Kevin Bell, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive tackle from Hart High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., and Carl Roeller, a 6-5, 210-pound defensive end from Idaho's Coeur d'Alene High School, recently committed to the Grizzlies. They will sign a national letter-of-intent on Wednesday, Feb. 4.
Bell certainly has the potential to become an academic All-American for Montana. Bell's cumulative grade-point average is 4.2 on a 4.0 scale. He's taking some honors and advanced placement courses, and was interested in attending Cornell of the Ivy League or Occidental. Bell plans on majoring in political science.
"Montana has a great football program and is a good school to get an education," Bell said. "Its academics are very good for my major, political science. I met with one of the professors and it seems like a good department. Also, Missoula is a great place. I like hunting, fishing and hiking, and Montana is a great place to do that."
Bell was named all-city, all-league, and was a third-team all-state selection. He's a member of the National Honor Society. In February, he'll attend a national youth leadership forum on intelligence gathering, defense, and diplomacy in Washington, D.C.
"In the fourth grade I went to Washington, and after that I just got hooked on politics," he said.
Bell, who committed to Montana on Tuesday after a home visit with Griz coach Bobby Hauck, said he's very interested in foreign policy and national affairs.
Hart High School finished 11-4, winning a CIF championship. Hart topped Mission Viejo, which was ranked fifth in the nation going into the game. Four other players from Hart have accepted scholarship offers from Division I-A schools.
Bell said he first became aware of Montana a couple of years ago from a friend who was attending Montana State.
"He got me interested in the University of Montana," Bell said. "He's visited Montana and told me how beautiful it is and what a great place it is. He told me about the state of Montana and what a wonderful place it is to be."
Roeller was tabbed 28th on a list of top defensive end prospects by Fab50.com, prior to his senior season. Roeller amassed 14 sacks, 84 tackles and intercepted a pass as a senior, and was named the defensive MVP of the Northwest League. As a junior, Roeller was named to the Idaho Statesman's all-state team.
"It was a good fit for me," Roeller said of his decision to play for UM. "I love to fish and hunt, and Montana is one of the best places for me to do that. They also have a great football program."
Roeller visited UM before Christmas, but didn't make his commitment until a week ago. He was also being recruited by Eastern Washington, Idaho, Brigham Young and the University of Utah. Roeller, who has been timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, took official visits to BYU, EWU and Utah.
Roeller is the second Coeur d'Alene player to commit to UM. Wide receiver Matt Troxel, from rival Lake City High, committed to UM last May.
Here's a list of players who the Missoulian has committed to the University of Montana football program:
Ryan Bagley, 6-4, 197, WR, Great Falls Russell.
Kevin Bell, 6-4, 270, OT, Hart High School, Santa Clarita, Calif.
Cole Bergquist, 6-2, 188, QB, San Clemente, Calif., High School
Dan Carpenter, 6-2, 190, K, Helena High School
Craig Mettler, 6-4, 240, DL, Walla, Walla, Wash.
Tim Parks, 5-11, 182, CB, Moreno Valley, Calif.
Carl Roeller, 6-4, 210, DE, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, High School
Rob Schulte, 5-8, 197, RB, Great Falls High.
Matt Troxel, WR, 5-9, 165, Lake City High School, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Torrey Thomas, 6-0, 175, S, Havre High School.
Jimmy Wilson, 6-1, 180, CB, Point Loma High, San Diego.
Reporter Jon Kasper can be reached at 523-5247 or by e-mail at email@example.com