Bello Makes a Switch

Bello Makes a Switch

With signing day just a couple days away, recruiting is going at full speed. Sometimes new opportunities present themselves, and players end up making a switch. Lincoln Way West's BJ Bello was given an opportunity he couldn't refuse and is now Illinois bound.

B.J. Bello, a long time Western Michigan commit, checked out his home-state school in the University of Illinois this past weekend. The decision wasn't easy for Bello, but he felt as if Illinois was the right place for him after weighing all of his options.

"The coaches recruited me at Toledo and I'm comfortable with them. Being able to go to a big time school is great and I wanted to take advantage of that."

In addition to being able to play in the Big Ten, Bello saw some other advantages to playing at Illinois.

"It's a close dirve from home and I'll be close to my family. I grew up following the Illini so it's something I wanted to do."

Bello had visited Illinois a few times in the past, but a previous relationship with a former Toledo coach now at Illinois got Bello's attention and got the ball rolling.

"Coach (Steve) Clinkscale basically said we've wanted you from the get-go and we wanted you to check it out and see what you think."

Having followed Illinois for a while, Bello knew quite a bit about the campus and the university coming in. After this weekend, he got to know more about the people, and that played a large role in his decision.

"Being around a bigger campus and a bigger facility. That and being around the players was great. Kenny Knight hosted me. He was a great guy and I really liked him a lot. He and Evan Wilson."

Aside from the current players, Bello was encouraged by now fellow Illinois commit J.J. Robertson to take another look at the Illini.

"I'm friends with JJ Robertson, and I talked to him about coming here too. He told me to check it out and I really liked it here so it'll be cool to come play with him here too."

Bello's combination of size and speed makes him versatile enough to play multiple positions on defense.

"I'm going to start out at safety, but depending on how much I grow, I could end up at linebacker. Right now I'm about 6'2 210. But I run a 4.5 40. So I could really play both."

Between now and when he arrives at Illinois, his plan of preparation is simple.

"I'm going to come in and work hard and get as ready as possible."

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