February 9, 2010

Bell could help as short-yardage back next fall

EAST LANSING - One of the goals of the Michigan State staff during the recruiting process was to find a big running back who could move the pile and pick up tough yards when needed.

If possible, the Spartans were looking to find a back similar to former Spartan Jehuu Caulcrick who made a habit of finding the end zone during his senior year when he led the Big Ten in rushing touchdowns.

The Spartans believed that they found such a back in Le'Veon Bell of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

Bell comes from a familiar high school, Groaveport Madison, the same high school that produced for Spartan and current New York Jet safety Eric Smith.

A 6-foot-2, 221-pound running back, Bell put up some impressive numbers as a senior. He rushed for 1,333 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. Bell also showed his versatility by returning two punts and one interception for a score.

Bell's primary recruiter was Mike Tressel who has plenty of contacts in central Ohio.

"That was a nice thing," said Michigan State recruiting coordinator Mark Staten. "Mike Tressel does such a great job down in Central Ohio and every time we've gone down there and talked to them they just talk about this Bell, Bell, Bell. It ended up being a wonderful fit in a position of need. He is that big back we were looking for and he's able to do so many things. He's so athletic and can do so many things."

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