The Bell Rings For The Ohio State University

Ridgeland All-American Picks Buckeyes

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

It’s Ohio State !!

The long wait is over as at 10:08 a.m. today Ridgeland HS All-American safety/wide receiver Vonn Bell announced that he has committed to play football at Ohio State;  The 6-0 190-pound safety/wide receiver chose the Buckeyes over Alabama and Tennessee.

In two years at the north Georgia school, Bell scored 31 touchdowns and led the Panthers to a region title and a state runner-up finish this past season.

"I appreciate all the schools who showed an interest in me during the recruiting process and am thankful for all the help my teammates and coaches have given me during my high school career," said Bell. "I look forward to attending The Ohio State University as coach Urban Meyer has been a winner wherever he has been."

The two-time all-state safety/wide receiver earned 2012 Walker County player of the year honors by the Walker County Messenger and was also selected as the 2012 state 4A defensive player of the year by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  

Bell is one of three Ridgeland players who signed college scholarships today joining teammates Darrell Bridges who signed with Presbyterian College and Gannon Hampton who signed with Carson-Newman.

 * Vonn Bell ... wide receiver/safety ... Ohio State ... All-American ... two-time all-state ... Georgia 4A defensive player of the year  by the Atlanta Journal Constitution ...

"I really developed a good relationship with defensive coordinator Everett Withers and that was the main factor in my decision to sign with Ohio State," said Bell. "I will focus on defense, but I might get to play some on offense as well." 

 * Darrell Bridges ... running back ... Presbyterian College ... all-state ... 2,300 career rushing yards

"I look forward to competing for the starting spot at running back and know that the coaches want a back who can block and protect the quarterback. For those major football schools who did not recruit me I want to them to remember me during the next four years when we playe them."

Presbyterian opens the 2013 season at Wake Forest.

* Gannon Hampton ... lineman ... Carson-Newman College ... all-state ... graded out at 94% for 15 games.

"I am looking forward to competing for the starting center position in the fall," said Hampton. "The starting center from this past season graduated so I believe I have a good opportunity to start as a freshman."


contact B.B. Branton at



Lee Wins In Overtime At Valdosta State Thanksgiving Tournament

 In an old fashioned shootout, the Lee men’s basketball team converted 5-of-6 free throws in overtime and turned back a talented College of Coastal Georgia team in the first day of the Valdosta State Thanksgiving Classic on Friday evening. Regulation play ended with the contest knotted at 86. The Flames controlled the tip in overtime and finally gained the lead they never ... (click for more)

UTC's McLean Leads Mocs Past Alabama State 95-58

Tre’ McLean’s career-high 18 points led four in double digits as the Chattanooga Mocs rolled to a 95-58 win over Alabama State in the opening round of its bracket in the Emerald Coast Classic. The 37-point margin of victory is the largest against a DI opponent in almost 19 years, an 83-46 triumph over Wofford (Jan. 6, 1997). “"The thing I was most impressed with our guys is ... (click for more)

Shots Fired From Vehicle; Police Locate Car And Arrest 5 Youths With Guns

Chattanooga Police said shots were fired from a vehicle on Friday afternoon, then officers located the vehicle and arrested five youths with guns.   That comes after a spate of shooting violence in which two women were killed and several other people injured by bullets.   Just after 4 p.m. Friday,  officers with the Chattanooga Police Department responded ... (click for more)

City Considering Measure That Would Require City Employees To Be Tennessee Residents

The City Council is considering an ordinance that would require city employees to be residents of the state of Tennessee. The city has employees who live in North Georgia and North Alabama and that is allowed.  If the ordinance is approved by the City Council, it still would need to be okayed by a majority of city voters in an election. The measure will be considered ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Can’t ‘Ban The Box’

I know a man who has over 20 former convicts from federal prisons who either work for him or who have retired with their dignity, pride, and self-worth restored. Better yet, I know some of them, men who have done “hard time” in prisons so wretched none of us would dare to go. So on the surface I applaud City Councilman Yusef Hakeem for seeing ways to get formerly incarcerated men ... (click for more)