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nick_bellNick Bell's case, was possibly one of the most sudden that I can remember. Less than 2 weeks ago, Bell was present on the MSU sideline, and seemed to be in good spirits. Little did Nick and the MSU family alike, know what would transpire over the past 2 days. Bell, underwent brain surgery on Oct. 1st, to remove a mass that had developed from a lesion which was removed on his head, just 2 years prior. Fast forward to early Monday morning, and Nick was undergoing emergency surgery. The cancer had spread into his body, and Bell's situation had greatly worsened over the last 3 days. After Monday's surgery, Bell fell into a coma, and was placed on life support. Bell was in uniform just 5 weeks ago, but died Tuesday at 2:20 pm. He was 20 years old.

In remembrance of Nick, I figured that I would compile all the quotes that people shared concerning Bell, and the young man that he was.

Dan Mullen: This is a tragedy for Nick’s family, our football program, our community and everyone who had the privilege to meet and be around Nick Bell. Nick was a son and a brother to our football family and I know he will continue to look over us from heaven. Nick lived his life like a champion and will always be remembered in our hearts that way. During this impossible time, we pray for Nick’s family and all those he has touched...He was an amazing kid. Coach (Matt) Balis and I were talking, he never came in having a bad day. He never came in upset, never came in with anything but a smile on his face, to go to work and to play. You see his smile and his ability to light up a room and his personality, just a great person to be around at all times. He was always someone who was going to lift his teammate’s spirits. And he loved to play the game. It’s hard to find somebody that has such a positive outlook in everything they’re doing, and he had that. He had that positive outlook of every day whether it was working out, running springs, talking about going to school, going to class, getting his degree. Things that he wanted to achieve in life. He always had a very positive outlook on all the great things he wanted to do. And I’ll say this, he accomplished a lot of that. For a 20-yard old to accomplish all the things he did in life, and impact as many people’s lives as he had, that’s pretty remarkable.”

MSU A.D. Scott Stricklin: Words can’t express our sadness. Nick was a model student-athlete – special in the classroom, on the field and to those whose lives he touched. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his teammates and his coaches. He will be missed by the entire Mississippi State community and our athletic department family.”

MSU School President: “Nick was an outstanding young man, who proudly represented our university with character and enthusiasm in everything he did. He was an exemplary student-athlete, always giving the maximum effort on the football field and in the classroom. Nick left us too soon, and we mourn his passing, but we also celebrate the impact he made and fondly recount the many lives he touched in our Bulldog family.”

Megan Mullen (Dan's Wife): "There are few people in the world who have the unique ability to light up a room. Nick was one of those extraordinary individuals. Every single one of us in the Bulldogs football family is a better person for having Nick in our lives.”

Mike Slive- SEC Commissioner: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mississippi State’s Nick Bell today. We join the entire MSU family in mourning the loss such of a tremendous young man.”

Mullen after Tuesday's practice:  "Obviously this is a difficult time for our football family. Our football is hurting right now and I’ve got a lot of 18 to 22 year-olds right now learning how to deal with grief like this for the first time. Nick was a son and brother to everything in this football family. We went out today at practice in our sanctuary doing the thing we love the most, that Nick loved doing the most. It kinda felt good to sweat out the feelings and emotions inside. It was very therapeutic for our guys. We told them there’s not a right or wrong way to act or feel. I know for them doing what they love for two hours was therapeutic for a lot of guys.” nick-bell2

Video of Mullen's address. Link

About 50 members of the MSU family visited with Nick at the UAB Medical Center, as well as Alabama DE Marcell Dareus, and Auburn LB LaDarius Owens.

Matthew Stevens of the Starkville Daily summed up Nick Bell's career quite well: [Bell started two of the four games he played in this 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 the maroon and white. 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.]

Help for the Bell family: Mississippi State athletic department will establish a memorial fund for the Bell family through the Bulldog Club. More details will be available online at www.mstateathletics.com and donations can be made by calling 662-325-3074. -CL

Today we pay respect to Nick...tomorrow we'll talk about his and our #20 MSU Bulldogs.

R.I.P. Nick Bell, you will be greatly missed.