When Nebraska fans think ahead to the 2012 season, most think about Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead, or what’s going to happen on defense.
However, wide receiver Kenny Bell might be one of the most important weapons for Nebraska’s offense in the upcoming season. Bell led the team in receptions, reception yards and receiving touchdowns in 2011 and will have a year’s experience behind him going into next season.
So let’s take a closer look at Bell so you can put him in the mix of things to get excited about for Nebraska’s upcoming season.
For most Nebraska fans, it seemed like Bell was a skinny kid (6'1", 180 pounds) who came out of nowhere to become NU’s primary stretch-the-field option in 2011. As a redshirt freshman, though, 2012 will be Bell’s third year in the Nebraska program. That experience, combined with a second year in Tim Beck’s offense, gives Bell an opportunity to become one of the most dangerous playmakers in the B1G.
Bell’s primary weapon is his speed. According to wide receivers coach Rich Fisher (quoted in the Lincoln Journal Star’s Life in the Red blog), Bell was the fastest receiver on the Nebraska squad in 2011. At least one NFL draft preview website (NFLDraftScout.com) has Bell running as low as a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash.
So, yeah, dude’s got wheels.
Bell started every game for Nebraska except for the season opener against Chattanooga in 2011. In each of those games, Bell caught at least one pass, having two games with five catches. So in his first year on the field, Bell showed that he could get himself open and make plays, week in and week out.
(And aren’t you proud of me for avoiding the “Bell answered the bell every week” pun? I have too much respect for you as a reader to try that one on you.)
Last year, Bell had six kickoff returns for 152 yards. He also had three rushes. For 100 yards. Including a spectacular 82-yard touchdown run against Minnesota, the longest touchdown run for a freshman in school history.
Look for Tim Beck to find different ways to get Bell the ball in 2012 and take advantage of his blazing speed.
I mean, seriously. Is that not the most awesome hair ever? I’m still mystified how the guy gets his helmet on.
If you would like to contact Patrick directly to schedule an interview, ask a question or to get his recipe for a killer peach cobbler, send an email to email@example.com.
(DISCLAIMER: Peach cobbler recipe might not be all that killer.)
Or, you could always follow @patrickrunge.