BJ Bello NFL Draft
School: Illinois State (Illinois Transfer)
College Experience: Senior
Height/Weight: 6’2″ / 230
All-Star Invite: N/A
NFL Regional Combine (Minnesota)
40 YARD DASH TIME :: 4.55
225 BENCH REPS ::
VERTICAL LENGTH :: 34
BROAD JUMP :: 10’5″
2016: MVFC All-Newcomer Team selection … played in all 12 games this season, with 11 starts after transferring from Illinois … led all ISU defenders with 9.5 tackles-for-loss and six sacks, with two forced fumbles … tied at No. 9 in the MVFC in sacks (6.0) … named MVFC Newcomer of the Week after the win over Missouri State (Nov. 12), after tallying eight tackles, with a half TFL and two pass breakups … had a season-high 11 tackles and added a sack at Indiana State (Sept. 24) … had a season-best 2.5 TFLs and nine tackles the previous week against Eastern Illinois (Sept. 17).
2015 at Illinois: Saw action in eight, primarily on special teams … recorded a total of six tackles and one pass breakup on the season … tallied two tackles and broke up a pass against Kent State … added two tackles against Western Illinois.
2014 at Illinois: Recorded three tackles in nine games played.
2013 at Illinois: Played in four games and totaled four tackles … had two tackles against Cincinnati … made collegiate debut and his posted first career tackle against Southern Illinois.
2012 at Illinois: Redshirted.
Lincoln-Way West HS: Three-year starter for coach Mark Vanderkooi … rated a two-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com … named All-Area by the Joliet Herald-News … had 81 tackles, three tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one interception in 2011, while leading Lincoln-Way West to a second-straight IHSA Class 5A playoff appearance … was also an all-state track performer.
Personal: Born Oct. 31, 1994, in New Lenox, Illinois … son of Adebukola and Lawrence Bello … one of three siblings … cousin of former Illiniois defensive back Supo Sanni.
He grew up playing running when he first began using that athleticism to put points on the board. Bello started at sophomore year and played safety and a little outside linebacker his senior year. Was close to attending Western Michigan before late offers from Illinois and Minnesota and signed with the Illinois.
His continued growth led to him becoming an outside linebacker at Illinois. He transferred to Illinois State (2016) and was named the MVFC All-Newcomer Team selection. He started 11 games and recorded 9.5 tackles-for-loss along with six sacks and two forced fumbles.
It was the season that ignited Bello and helps place him in the position he is today. His NFL Regional Combine results were fantastic posting a 4.55 forty, 34-inch vertical and 10’5” broad jump at 6-foo-2 and 230 pounds.
The hallmark of Bello’s game is his versatility. He is a three-down linebacker able to play in 3-4 or 4-3 schemes in almost any role of the position. He moves with fluidly and shows natural athleticism. Bello displays good range and does a good job changing direction and turning his hips. He is quick off the snap with good burst to put offensive lineman off balance.
Bello will perform at Illinois State’s Pro Day as well as the Chicago Bears Local Pro Day. He also did NFL Regional Combine which a lot him a chance to workout at Northwestern.
Unquestioned character and athletic ability makes Bello a very intriguing prospect. Might be best suited in a 4-3 defense were he is protected and able to attack. Bello is a run-and-hit linebacker with plenty of upside.
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