Shaq of all trades
Nov. 8, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo.--He’s the “Shaq of All Trades” in Colorado State’s secondary.
Junior Shaq Bell is listed as a Colorado State’s starting right cornerback. But that tells only one-fifth of the story.
Bell, a 5-foot, 11-inch, 195-pound junior from Kissimmee, Fla.., has started eight of Colorado State’s nine games to date.
But where Bell appears on the field throughout a game is a much different story. Colorado State’s “Shaq of All Trades” plays every position in the secondary – both cornerback spots, strong safety and free safety – as well as “nickel” back during the course of a game.
Is it challenging?
“When I first started doing it, I was tired,” Bell said. “But once I got used to it, it helped me a lot to know the linebacker, cornerback and safety positions,” he said. “It’s very helpful.”
Bell came to Colorado State three years ago following an illustrious high school career at Osceola High in Kissimmee. He was immediately thrust into the lineup as a true freshman.
Now three years later, he wants to impart his wisdom and experience to younger players who play alongside him in the secondary.
“I talk to them (his teammates in the secondary) all of the time,” he said. “I tell all the safeties, really all of the defensive backs, to watch film a minimum of 30 minutes. I try to help them. “
Bell’s experienced guidance isn’t limited to practice or the locker room.
“I talk to them on the field during games,” he said.
Bell admits his favorite is playing the nickel back in Colorado State’s five-defensive-back attack.
“That’s my favorite,” he said, “to get in there and get physical like a linebacker.”
The most challenging?
“At cornerback, you are more out there on an island,” Bell explained. “ Are you better than him? Or is he better than you?”
Bell also said he’s gained a vast amount of knowledge as well as experience in his three seasons at Colorado State.
“Just getting more mature, and knowing what to expect when you step on the field,” Bell said of his three years in the secondary.
Through nine games this season, Bell ranks sixth on the team with 46 tackles. He has grabbed one interception, forced two fumbles and recovered another, to go along with a quarterback sack.
Bell earlier this year had 10 tackles in the Rams’ game with North Dakota State, including six solo stops. He showed his all-around versatility in a big way vs. Utah State, playing a role in three takeaways to with his six tackles. Bell intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and forced another fumble.
The junior leader knows he and his teammates will be in for a challenge Saturday evening when the Rams face UNLV, which beat New Mexico, 35-7 last week.
“Last year, it came down to the wire and we lost by three points. We want to get that taste out of our mouths with a victory,” he said.
Kickoff time is 5 p.m. at Hughes Stadium.
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