LeVeon On Display

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Bell's big first game was a 1st for a Spartan true freshman with 100+yards.  Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.

Bell's big first game was a 1st for a Spartan true freshman with 100+yards. Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.

Saturday gave the Spartan Nation a glimpse of the future. Freshman Le’Veon Bell put on a show for everyone in the stadium and on ESPN2. There were other true freshmen making plays as well. Max Bullough had a couple of tackles. Will Gholston managed to get his first game action. Isaiah Lewis looks like he has the makings of a pretty stout strong safety. First year Spartan and JC sophomore Rashad White looked like a prototypical Big Ten nose guard. He is a space eater and displays quick feet. He is only going to get better as he gets more snaps. The same can be said of Gholston as well.


There is reason to get excited about these youngsters. They are going to be some great players before their time is done at MSU. Everyone needs to remember that they are freshman. Bell is the most intriguing because nobody saw him as a star other than our coaches before arrived this spring. His college offers paled in comparison to Gholston, but his skill set warrants a ton of attention. His game Saturday was the real deal. I am well aware that we were playing Western Michigan on Saturday. Western is good enough to win the MAC this year. WMU has a lot to be excited about.


 I think there were a couple of runs that truly define Bell’s ability. They are things that are hard to teach and apparently come pretty naturally to guy who is only a freshman. Le’Veon Bell has five specific things that make him good.


Number one, Bell runs well behind his blockers. He is a patient runner who knows when to move and when to run behind the man in front of him. Go back and watch his long second quarter run; it’ll tell you what you need to know.


Number two, he is deceptively fast. He is so smooth; he doesn’t look like he is even moving. His stride lulls LB’s and DB’s into taking bad angles. Coaches are going to see this on film and quickly point his out to their players. I watched some of these clips ten times and couldn’t believe the way he pulled away when he hit the seam.


Number three, Bell is elusive. He isn’t going to give you pause and juke you out of your trousers, but he will shorten his gate, burst and then slide smoothly through a small crease. Go back and watch his 18-yard TD run. You’ll see a 230 pound-plus tailback explode through a crease effortlessly. You can’t teach that.


 Number four, he has great vision. It is one of the things that separate average backs from elite backs. It is also why he runs behind his blockers so well. And lastly, Le’Veon Bell runs like he is hungry. He looked like he was out to prove the recruiting astronomers wrong about him.


Le’Veon needs to remember that his competition is going to get stiffer as the year goes on. He is not going to run wild every game and when Caper comes back, he may not carry the ball as much. He needs to stay hungry. He needs to stay focused and needs to remember everyone who doubted him. Nothing quite like dishing out humble pie to your critics; it is a great motivating tool.


If he stays healthy, hungry and humble, he has an opportunity to be mentioned with Lorenzo, Tico, T.J. and Javon. The Spartan Nation just needs to remember that he is an eighteen-year old kid who had an outstanding first game. Just remember to love Le’Veon just as much the day he has 14 yards as the day he has 141. This story is to be continued next weekend…