Alabama’s Marcell Dareus grew up in Birmingham with Nick Bell, the Mississippi State defensive lineman who died of cancer last week. Dareus was actually with Bell on the Friday before he died.
“He was with me all day Friday (October 29th). That Friday, he stayed with me all day. He rode around with me all day. He said he wasn’t feeling good and he just wanted to ride with me. He rode with me all day. We went out later on that night. We just had a good time.”
Dareus says he’s dedicating the rest of his season to his fallen friend. That will begin on Saturday when he faces Bell’s MSU teammates.
Saturday’s game will mark the first contest for State since Bell’s death. The Bulldogs will wear patches to honor Bell. Some players will wear his jersey as well.
“For our guys, you play with a little heavy heart,” Dan Mullen said this week. “They’re going to move on a little bit every day. They’ll put it behind them, but it’s certainly not going to be out of their minds. In a situation like that, I don’t know how it becomes motivating to anybody except for the fact maybe the lessons Nick taught you in life and trying to live your life to the fullest.”
In honor of Bell, there will be a moment of silence at Bryant-Denny Stadium prior to kickoff.