NFL

Blake Bell Went From a Top-10 High School Quarterback Prospect to an NFL Tight End

Former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Blake Bell has had a wild decade, to say the last.

At this time 10 years ago, Bell was redshirting for the Sooners and preparing to become Oklahoma’s next great quarterback, much like Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and Arizona star Kyler Murray eventually did. Now, Bell is a reserve tight end for the Dallas Cowboys.

This is Bell’s crazy ride, from top high school quarterback prospect to Super Bowl champion.

Blake Bell was the nation’s top quarterback prospect

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Oklahoma was one of many teams who recruited Blake Bell to be the next great college quarterback. 

Born in Wichita, Kan., Bell attended Bishop Carroll Catholic High School and starred under center. Bell completed 66.6% of his passes for 2,752 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior in 2009. 

247 Sports listed Bell as the best player in Kansas and the country’s eighth-best quarterback. Current UCF football coach Josh Heupel recruited Bell, who signed with the Sooners on signing day in 2010.

Bell switched from quarterback to tight end

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After he redshirted in 2010, Blake Bell completed one of his four passes in 2011 for eight yards and an interception.

Rather than see action behind center, Bell participated in unique packages that used him as a running quarterback. Bell picked up 171 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 3.9 yards per carry.

Landry Jones, who played several seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, served as the Sooners’ starting quarterback at the time.

Oklahoma utilized a similar system in 2012; Bell completed nine of his 16 passes but picked up 201 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 3.4 yards per carry.

Bell finally got his chance at quarterback in 2013, completing 60.1% of his passes for 1,648 yards, 12 touchdowns, and five interceptions. However, Oklahoma moved Bell to tight end in 2014 to take advantage of his athleticism and allow Trevor Knight to start at quarterback.

Bell caught 16 passes for 214 yards and four touchdowns in 2014.

Blake Bell has carved out a solid career as a tight end

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Despite his relative inexperience at tight end, Blake Bell attended the 2015 NFL combine and focused on playing that position in the NFL.

San Francisco used a fourth-round pick on Bell in 2015, and he began that year as the fourth tight end on the depth chart. Bell caught 15 passes for 186 yards in 14 games (five starts) as a rookie.

He has since bounced around the league, playing for five teams in the last five years.

Bell scored his first professional touchdown in the AFC divisional round while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs last year. Three weeks later, Bell won his first Super Bowl ring.

Through Week 7 of the 2020 season, Bell — now on the Dallas Cowboys — has 43 career catches for 495 yards. In addition to serving as a key special teams player, Bell also sees action as a second tight end and is the Cowboys’ backup quarterback.

According to Spotrac, Bell — who turned 29 in August — will have made over $5.2 million through the end of the 2020 season.

All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.