Q&A: FAU beat writer shares insight about Corey Bell
After former Florida defensive backs coach Torrian Gray accepted a job with the Washington Redskins, the Gators quickly found his replacement in Corey Bell.
Bell, who spent roughly a month as USF's defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator after serving on Charlie Partridge's staff for three seasons from 2014-16, was announced as an assistant on Florida's staff on Feb. 4. Bell is a good fit from a familiarity standpoint for Florida, as he worked under Randy Shannon at Miami as director of football operations from 2007-10 and was a college teammate of Gators defensive line coach/co-defensive coordinator Chris Rumph's while at South Carolina.
The 45-year-old Bell coached the secondary at FAU, working closely with the cornerbacks while Ben Strickland coached the safeties, and also served as the Owls' assistant director of player personnel. As a Miami native, Bell's ability to recruit south Florida was widely praised during his time with the program.
To gather some more insight about Bell and his time at FAU, Inside the Gators spoke with Florida Atlantic beat writer Matthew DeFranks of the Sun Sentinel. In the Q&A below, DeFranks answers a number of questions about Bell.
How would you describe Bell’s time at FAU? How did the defensive backs overall perform under Bell's guidance, and how well did he recruit for the Owls?
DeFranks: He was really good at recruiting Dade County. That was his main job at FAU. Yeah, he coached cornerbacks, but he was a recruiter that really fit the philosophy that FAU had, because Charlie Patridge wanted to recruit from Orlando, Tampa, down all the way through Dade. His area was so defined in Dade that it really fit with the whole program philosophy, if that makes sense. Obviously, that’s probably why Charlie Strong wanted him, that’s why Jim McElwain wanted him. That’s why he was able to go working from Conference USA in November to the SEC in February.
As far as the actual cornerbacks at FAU, they were OK. Their defense as a whole this year was terrible, in like the 120s in scoring and total defense. I’m not sure how much you can put the cornerbacks’ performance on him, just given the entire defense’s performance.
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