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Pre-game Tuesday - Nick Bell to be recognized in end zone Saturday for Senior Day




Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Senior day at Davis Wade Stadium will also involve recognizing  a fallen teammate as well Saturday. 


Mississippi State University announced Monday the school's intention to include the late Nick Bell among the 28 seniors to be honored Saturday when the Bulldogs take to the home field for the final time this season against the University of Arkansas (11:21 a.m., SEC Network). 


"It'll be a great opportunity to thank Nick's mom, who's always with us and continues to support everything we've done and say another good bye to him on Saturday," MSU coach Dan Mullen said Monday in his weekly media conference. 


Bell, 20, died on Nov. 2, 2010 at University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital after undergoing emergency surgery when a form of skin cancer had metastasized through his body. 


"It's something that I don't think any of our players will ever forget, anybody in our program will ever forget," Mullen said. "We win a game, we've got to go play again next week. We lose a game, we've 


got to go play again next week but that is probably the most significant thing that's happened in my coaching career." 


Bell had a previous surgery on his brain performed at Vanderbilt University by former Mississippi State graduate Dr. Allen Sills to remove a mass, which was discovered by MSU physicians, after he developed headaches and hand weakness. Tests indicated that this mass is a form of skin cancer which is related to lesion that was removed from his forehead two years earlier. 


He is survived by his mother Linda Bell, who still currently reside in Bessemer, Ala. 


Bell started two of the four games he played in the 2010 season, compiling seven tackles and two for a loss. In his MSU career, Bell has 22 tackles and four and a half stops for a loss. The 6-foot-3, 


265-pound defensive end played in all 12 games last year as a red-shirt freshman earning a pair of starts and recording 15 total tackles in his first season with MSU. 


Since his death, MSU has honored Bell with a patch on the jersey and by blacking out the 36 yard-line on each side of the Davis Wade Stadium field. 


Saturday MSU has decided to honor Nick Bell by having his name and playing number in the end zone of the game against Arkansas Saturday (11:21 a.m., SEC Network). 


"It is just awesome," MSU senior linebacker Cam Lawrence said. "You can't ever honor him enough. Nick was a great guy. I'm glad we are still keeping him in mind every time we take the field." 


Bell was recruited to State out of Jess Lanier High in Bessemer, Ala., by the staff of former MSU head coach Sylvester Croom. Bell began his high school career at Adamsville (Ala.) Minor High School and 


committed to State on November 2007. 


Bell is the first Mississippi State football player to pass away since Keffer McGee's life ended on Aug. 5, 1997 in a drowning accident at a Starkville apartment complex. 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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