Le'Veon Bell

Le'Veon Bell

refer to caption

Bell with the Pittsburgh Steelers
No. 26Pittsburgh Steelers
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1992-02-18) February 18, 1992
Place of birth: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Groveport (OH) Madison
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 48
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2016
Rushing yards: 3,476
Average: 4.4
Total touchdowns: 26
Receptions: 209
Receiving yards: 1,826
Player stats at NFL.com

Le'Veon Andre Bell (pronounced LAY-vee-on;[1] born February 18, 1992) is an American football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan State, and was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

High school career

Bell attended Groveport Madison High School in Groveport, Ohio, where he played football, basketball and ran track. He played running back for the Groveport Cruisers football team. As a sophomore, Bell ran for 789 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. As a junior, Bell ran for 1,100 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, and as a senior, Bell ran for 1,333 yards on 200 carries with 21 touchdowns. He was selected first-team All-Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division as a senior. He ran as a junior, and added as a sophomore. In basketball, Bell earned second-team All-OCC Ohio Division honors as a junior. He also participated in track & field while at Groveport, where he ran the 100 and 200-meter dashes and was one of the state's top performers in the high jump (personal-best of 6'8" or 2.03 meters).[2]

Considered a two-star recruit by ESPN.com, Bell was listed as the No. 211 running back in the nation in 2010.[3] Although he was a 3-year starter in high school, Bell had limited scholarship offers. Bell was offered scholarships from Bowling Green, Marshall, and Eastern Michigan but hoped to attend Ohio State. After he finished his senior football season, he finally received a scholarship offer from Michigan State after a number of players had got into trouble and head coach Mark Dantonio called his high school to inquire about him.[4] In 2010, he graduated from high school early and began attending Michigan State that spring semester.[5]

College career

Bell enrolled in Michigan State University, where he played for the Michigan State Spartans football team from 2010 to 2012.

As a freshman he appeared in 13 games, rushing for 605 yards on 107 carries with eight rushing touchdowns. He also added 97 yards on 11 receptions and returned six kickoffs for 142 yards. In total he had 844 all-purpose yards.[6] He received All Big-Ten Freshman honors from ESPN.com and Rivals.com.[7]

As a sophomore in 2011, Bell led the Spartans in rushing with 948 yards on 182 carries and 13 touchdowns.[6] Against the Iowa Hawkeyes, he had 161 yards of total offense and a rushing touchdown. Against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, he had 165 all-purpose yards (96 rushing, 38 receiving, and 31 kickoff return yards) and two total touchdowns in the game.[6] Against 18th ranked Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl, Bell rushed for 48 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns and had five receptions for 39 yards .[7]

Against Eastern Michigan in 2012, Bell ran for a career high 253 yards rushing while also claiming the Big Ten Offensive player of the week award.[8] He finished the season with 1,793 rushing yards, which led the Big Ten.[9][10] He was voted to the First team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media, ESPN.com, College Football News, and Phil Steele.[7]

After the season, Bell entered the 2013 NFL Draft.[11]

College statistics

Year GP–GS Rushing Receiving Kick Returns
Att Gain Avg TD Long Avg/G Rec Yards Avg TD Long Avg/G No. Yards Avg TD Long
2010 13–0 107 605 5.7 8 75 46.5 11 97 8.8 0 35 7.5 6 142 23.7 0 32
2011 14–6 182 948 5.2 13 35 67.7 35 267 7.6 0 45 19.1 1 31 31.0 0 31
2012 13–13 382 1,793 4.7 12 40 137.9 32 167 5.2 1 20 12.8 4 46 11.5 0 31
Total* 40-19 671 3,346 5.0 33 75 83.7 78 531 6.8 1 45 13.3 11 219 19.9 0 32

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht WtArm lengthHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1⅜ in 244 lb31½ in9⅝ in 4.60 s 1.52 s 2.60 s 4.24 s 6.75 s 31½ in 9 ft 10 in 24 reps
All values from NFL Combine[12]

Bell was selected in the 2nd round, 48th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2013 NFL Draft.[13] He signed a 4-year rookie contract worth $4.12 million with $2.27 million guaranteed.[14]


In his second preseason game against the Washington Redskins, Bell was tackled on a running play and suffered a mid-foot sprain. His injury did not require surgery, but made him miss the first three weeks of the regular season.

Bell appeared in his first career game on September 29, 2013. At Wembley stadium, against the Minnesota Vikings, he rushed for 57-yards on 16 carries and 2 rushing touchdowns while also catching 4 receptions for 27-yards. During a Week 16 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, he had a season-high 26 carries for 124-yards and a rushing touchdown. On December 29, 2013, in a game against division rival Cleveland Browns, Bell was able to break Steeler’s legend Franco Harris’s rookie record for total yards from scrimmage with a total of 1,259 yards.[15]

He finished his rookie season with 244 carries, 860 rushing yards, and 8 rushing touchdowns. He also had 45 receptions for 399 yards[16]


Bell began his second season as a starter in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns and finished the game with 29 carries, 109 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, and 6 receptions for 88-yards. A low offensive output against the Baltimore Ravens defense led to a 26–6 loss in week 2. Against the Carolina Panthers, Bell and Legarrette Blount both rushed for over 100 yards.[17] On October 20, 2014, Bell had 8 catches for 88 yards and made his first career touchdown reception in a 30–23 victory over the Houston Texans. He became the first running back in Steelers' history to have 7 consecutive games with 100 yards from scrimmage. Bell had his best game against the Tennessee Titans on November 17, gaining 204 rushing yards on a season-high 33 carries as well as a rushing touchdown. On November 30, 2014, Bell had a season-high 8 receptions for 159 receiving yards while also accounting for 21 carries, 95 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown in a 35–32 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The next game, he carried the ball 26 times for 185 yards and made 6 catches for 50 yards while also scoring 3 total touchdowns in a 42–21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Bell tied Walter Payton for most consecutive games with 200 or more yards from scrimmage with 3 after his performance against the Bengals. On December 29, Bell was injured against Pittsburgh’s AFC North foe the Cincinnati Bengals as he hyperextended his knee when being tackled by Reggie Nelson. Bell didn’t play against the Ravens in the Wild Card round of the 2014 playoffs, so the Steelers signed veteran and former Cleveland Browns' running back Ben Tate.[17]

Bell broke out in 2014, going from rookie to All-Pro, finishing second in rushing yards, yards from scrimmage, and all-purpose yards to Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. He led all running backs in receiving yards and yards per reception.[16]

Bell finished the 2014 season second in the league for total rushing yards (behind DeMarco Murray).[18] He finished the season averaging 4.7 rushing yards per carry (YPC), up from 3.5 YPC in 2013.[19] Bell finished his first complete regular season with a career-high 290 carries, 1,361 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 83 receptions, 854 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns.


After being arrested with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount on DUI and marijuana possession charges in August 2014, Bell was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2015 regular season. On April 9, 2015, it was reported that the suspension was reduced to 3 games. On July 28, 2015, Bell's suspension was reduced from 3 games to 2 following a successful appeal [20]

Bell made his season debut against the St. Louis Rams on September 27, 2015. He finished the game with 19 carries for 62-yards and scored his first rushing touchdown of the season. The following week, he had 22 rushing attempts for a season-high 129-yards and a touchdown in a 20-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. On October 12, 2015, Bell had 21 rushes for 111 rushing yards and scored a last-second touchdown run lifted the Steelers to a 24-20 win over the San Diego Chargers.[21] During a Week 6 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, Bell rushed a season-high 24 times and finished the game with 88 rushing yards.

On November 1, 2015, Bell suffered a season-ending torn MCL during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals, after taking a tackle from Vontaze Burfict. The following day, the Steelers placed him on injured/reserve, effectively ending his season.

On November 6, 2015, it was reported by Jason La Canfora that Bell had undergone surgery to repair damage to the MCL/PCL. He is due to return in time for the 2016 season opener.[22]

He was facing suspension by the NFL for three games for missing a drug test.[23]

Career statistics

Season Rushing Receiving Fumbles
Year Team GP GS Att Yards Avg Lng TD Rec Yards Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2013 PIT 13 13 244 860 3.5 43 8 45 399 8.9 43 0 1 1
2014 PIT 16 16 290 1,361 4.7 81 8 83 854 10.3 48 3 0 0
2015 PIT 6 6 113 556 4.9 42 3 24 136 5.7 20 0 0 0
Career 35 35 647 2,777 4.3 81 19 152 1,389 9.1 48 3 1 1
Franchise records

Personal life

Le'Veon Bell was born February 18, 1992, in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, to Lisa A. Bell.[7] His mother and grandfather have been lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fans.[24] Throughout his childhood his mother raised Bell and his siblings by herself and struggled financially.[25] Bell has two older sisters and two younger brothers, both of whom also play football.

On August 20, 2014, Bell was driving with his then-Steelers teammate LeGarrette Blount and an unidentified woman, when he was pulled over by the police. The officer searched the car after he claimed to notice the smell of marijuana.[26] The search yielded 20 grams of marijuana, and the three were arrested for marijuana possession. Bell was sentenced to 15 months of probation, a 60-day suspension of his driver's license, DUI education classes, and $2,400 in court costs.[27]

Bell actively does charity work and fundraisers. He works with PETA and posed for one of the organization's advertisements. The ad showed him without a shirt with a caption saying, "I choose ink, not mink... Because animals deserve better!" [28]


  1. Steelers Le'Veon Bell on Spending Money, Transition to Physical NFL. SB Nation. June 5, 2013. Event occurs at 0:04. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  2. "Q & A with Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  3. "LeVeon Bell - Football Recruiting - Player Profiles - ESPN". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  4. SBN Studios. "Le'Veon Bell went from Unwanted to Unstoppable". SBNation.com. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  5. "Le'Veon Bell: A Style All His Own".
  6. 1 2 3 "2013 Draft | Pittsburgh Steelers". www.steelers.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Michigan State Spartans Player Bio: Le'veon Bell".
  8. Career high rushing and big ten offensive player of the week award.
  9. "Bell Named CFPA Elite Running Back Trophy Winner". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  10. "Bell addresses NFL Draft rumors in accepting Elite Running Back award". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  11. Bennett, Brian. "MSU's Le'Veon Bell to enter NFL draft".
  12. "2013 NFL Draft Profile: Le'Veon Bell". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  13. http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/steelers-address-backfield-situation-select-rb-leveon-bell-000015196.html
  14. "Overthecap.com: Le'Veon Bell Salary".
  15. "Steelers' 2013 draft review: Le'Veon Bell". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  16. 1 2 "2014 NFL Receiving - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  17. 1 2 "PressReader.com - Connecting People Through News". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  18. "2015 NFL Player Rushing Stats - National Football League - ESPN". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  19. "Pittsburgh Steelers: Le'Veon Bell". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  20. "Steelers' Bell has suspension cut to two games". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  21. Burke, Chris. "Steelers top Chargers on Bell's last-second TD". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  22. Jason La Canfora. "Le'Veon Bell on target for 2016 opener after surgery to repair MCL, PCL". Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  23. Rooney, Kyle. "Le'Veon Bell faces four game suspension for missing drug test, second suspension in a row". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  24. Teresa Varley (May 9, 2013). "Early Mother's Day Present for Bell's Mom". Steelers.com. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  25. Anthony Fenech (November 27, 2014). "Ex-Michigan State RB Bell Gives Thanks to Mom". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  26. "Steelers' Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount arrested for marijuana possession". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  27. Bill Phillips (February 6, 2015). "Steelers Le'Veon Bell focused on becoming a role model". WPXI. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  28. "Pittsburgh Steelers Le'Veon Bell shows off decision tp wear ink, not mink".

External links

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