BASKING RIDGE, NJ -- Brendan Bell, a quarterback and strong safety who made a measurable impact on both offense and defense for the Ridge High School football team, announced Monday night that he was committing to Villanova University.

" After a great visit this weekend excited to announce I am 100% committed to Villanova! Thanks," Bell tweeted Monday evening.

Bell, who had played receiver as a junior, switched to quarterback as a senior and led the Red Devils to an 8-2 record and to the second round of the Section 2, Group 5 playoffs in 2019. he passed for 13 touchdowns and 1,370 yards and rushed for 377 yards and seven TDs as a quarterback.

Sign Up for Basking Ridge Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

"Brendan is a fierce competitor," said Bill Tracy, the former Ridge High football coach who stepped down from the post three months ago. "Nothing fazes him, and no moment is too big for him."

The 6-2, 210-pound co-captain also led the Ridge defense in tackles with 98, including 56 solo hits and three tackles for a loss. He was selected to the All-Skyland Conference defensive first team in 2019.

"Bell is as good on defense as he is on offense," Tracy said. "He is so coachable and competitive.

"I am very happy for Brendan and his family," Tracy said on Tuesday. "Villanova is a terrific school, and a great opportunity for Brendan to continue his career as a top-notch student-athlete and person. Villanova is getting a fierce competitor as well, and a person who will raise the standard on a daily basis."

Bell is also an accomplished baseball player who started at third base for the Red Devils' 2019 team that reached the Somerset County Tournament and Section 2, Group 4 championship games. He is also a pitcher who served as the team's closer last season and who is the most experienced returning pitcher--in terms of varsity innings--for Ridge's 2020 baseball team.