Posted by Jerry Hinnen
As headlines at Ohio State go these days, one delivering news no worse than that a reserve linebacker already suspended for the entirety of 2011 has elected to transfer might be downright welcomed, just for being something less than catastrophic.
We'll hope so for those beleagured Buckeye fans' sake, since that headline has arrived. According to 247Sports affiliate Bucknuts, redshirt sophomore linebacker Dorian Bell -- after being suspended for the 2011 season for repeated violations of the same team rule -- will transfer closer to home at Pitt rather than wait to be reinstated in Columbus in 2012.
That choice ends a brief, disappointing Buckeye tenure for Bell, who arrived at OSU out of Monroeville (Pa.) as one of the nation's hottest linebacking recruits. But Bell was forced to take a surprising redshirt in 2009 and played in a limited role in 2010. He had been expected to challenge for one of the two vacant starting positions in the Buckeye linebacking corps this fall, but the suspension ended any chance of that and Bell decided to move on.
The good news for Ohio State is that Bell's decision does nothing to change their outlook for 2011 (though the initial suspension did deal a minor blow to their depth in the LB unit) and would seem to have only minor repercussions down the road ... unless Bell blows up at Pitt. Panther fans will hope that the change of scenery helps him reach his five-star potential--as they have similar hopes for other recent Pittsburgh-area-recruits-turned- transfers-home Cullen Christian (from Michigan) and Brandon Felder (from North Carolina).
And in the meantime, the Buckeyes will hope this is as bad as the news this week gets.