This post is sponsored by RO*TEL.
Onto our second and final post sponsored by RO*TEL, purveyors of canned tomatoes and chilies, and creators of the BTN mariachi commercial that is close to the hearts of millions of Big Ten Network viewers. (Da-duh-da-da!) As we told you yesterday, RO*TEL is currently running their "Feed Their Game Face" sweepstakes, wherein you can win a year's worth of groceries and a trip to a college football game of your choice, among other fantastic prizes. Register for the sweepstakes at http://www.feedtheirgameface.com/.
To promote the sweepstakes, RO*TEL asked us to write two posts about players who have performed exceptionally well for Michigan State this season. Yesterday, we recognized Aaron Bates. Follow us after the jump for today's honoree.
Today's featured player is . . . Le'Veon Bell. Because in a post designed to recognize players who have exceeded expectations in the first quarter of the season, there's no way we couldn't discuss our own freshman phenom. Observe:
A+++, would watch again.
On Tuesday, I wrote that "we're running out of superlatives to describe [Bell's] play. That may be true, but please allow me to fawn over his attributes for a moment. On the two plays shown above, Bell showed strength and balance (staying on his feet after Teo's tackLOL attempt), smarts and awareness (making the last move to get past the first down marker), discipline (following his blocks toward the near side when a hole didn't emerge straight ahead), and excellent acceleration for a big back (getting to the endzone). A full showcase in only two plays.
Bell was a lightly-recruited player in high school. As Matt Dorsey wrote in today's Free Press: "The Reynoldsburg (Ohio) Groveport Madison product was rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com and he was unranked at his position nationally. In fact, none of the national recruiting services had him ranked highly as a running back." In fact, Rivals lists that Bell's only other college offers came from Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, and Marshall. And, I'll admit that his lack of recruiting hype made me skeptical of the glowing reports of his play in spring and fall practice. Through three games, he's proven me and many others wrong: he's currently ranked fifth in the conference in rushing yards despite splitting carries with Edwin Baker, and trails only teammate Baker in the yards-per-carry department (8.2 for Bell; 8.5 for Baker).
Obviously, we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but MSU looks to be in great shape for years to come with Bell, Baker, and Larry Caper running the ball. For now, this queso's for you, Le'Veon Bell. May your future performances be just as spicy and delicious as the first three.
Please register for the "Feed Their Game Face" sweepstakes at www.feedtheirgameface.com. Thanks again to RO*TEL for supporting our work at The Only Colors..