Bell addresses NFL Draft rumors in accepting Elite Running Back award
Michigan State football coach, Mark Dantonio,right, smiles with junior running back Le’Veon Bell after Bell receives the College Football Performance Awards Elite Running Back Trophy on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 at halftime of the basketball game against Loyola-Chicago at the Breslin Center. Katie Stiefel/State News
It had been a few weeks since MSU fans had gotten to share their appreciation of Le’Veon Bell with the star running back himself, and when presented with the opportunity Saturday afternoon, they made their thoughts known loud and clear.
Fans chanted “one more year,” at Bell during halftime of the MSU men’s basketball game against Loyola-Chicago, as MSU football head coach Mark Dantonio egged them on, while the junior running back was honored with the College Football Performance Awards’ 2012 Elite Running Back of the Year award.
Bell took the award to each corner of the court to share the moment with fans and said the moment was “emotional.”
“It’s crazy how Spartan Nation really likes Le’Veon Bell,” Bell said.
“Being here these last couple years meant everything to me. It was a great moment out there and I just wanted to do it for the fans. Of course I couldn’t win anything without my teammates. My teammates helped me get to this point. The coaches of course put me in the right situation. It’s a total team effort.”
Speculation continues about whether Bell will declare early for the NFL Draft or return for his senior season, and Dantonio said MSU’s offense will continue to pound the ball regardless of Bell’s decision.
For his part, Bell said he’s been focused mostly on school and preparing for final exams since the regular season ended and hasn’t given much thought to his decision.
“First and foremost, I just want to get to the (bowl) game first and then just let the rest take care of itself,” Bell said.
“I’m not in any rush to make a decision or anything. I haven’t really been thinking about it, I’ve been just trying to finish the season out and this award means everything in the world to me. It’s a great award and I just got lucky enough to get chosen to win it. I’m grateful for it and thank God and my teammates and coaches. I can’t do it without them.”