Oct 062005
 
Authors: Trevor Edy

Everybody climb aboard the Bell Train. Whether it's first and ten or third and long, Kyle Bell has emerged as the back to carry CSU to victory.

A self-proclaimed farm boy, Bell grew up in small town Keenesburg, Colo., where he attended Weld Central High School. Over Bell's four-year career at Weld Central he set the Colorado state career rushing record with 8,248 yards, surpassing current University of Southern California and former Chatfield running back, LenDale White.

"I was able to play as a freshman, which helped a lot. My school size played a part in it as well," said Bell about the record. "The feeling when I did it was awesome, I had so much support from my community and my team."

While Bell was striving to be the best running back in Colorado, he was barely the best running back under his own roof. His father, David Bell, was also an All-State back his senior year at Weld Central. He held rushing records of his own at Weld Central until his own son shattered them by his sophomore year.

"I know my dad was proud; it was a good sense of a accomplishment for me," he said. "It really helped me set my sights on bigger things."

Bell and his family farm more than 500 acres just three miles west of Keenesburg. Bell attributes his work ethic to time spent on the farm.

"We couldn't ask for any better kids," said David of Kyle and his sister, Holly, who is currently a senior at Weld Central.

The 6'2", 225-pound back turned down University of Northern Colorado, Wyoming University, University of Colorado and the Air Force Academy to come to CSU. All of the universities campaigned extremely hard to get Bell, but the decision ultimately came down to the people and coaching staff.

"The coaches are great as far as taking you in, it's close to home for me and all the people here are really great," Bell said.

CSU head coach Sonny Lubick and the rest of the coaching staff raves of Bell's work ethic and leadership on and off the field. Apparently this is nothing new to the people close to him.

"When he sees a weakness {in himself} he works on it," said Mike Brown, Bell's high school coach. "He just keeps getting better and better."

Although Bell has hit the century mark twice this season, both times a few yards away from 200 yards, he is always looking to improve.

Bell said his dad always taught him how to work hard with everything he does.

"I just looked at how hard he worked on the farm," said Bell of his father. "He was such a hard worker and truly dedicated to providing to our family."

As much as Bell says he owes to the community he grew up in, Keenesburg would probably say the pleasure has been all theirs.

"He always lead by example, not only on the field but in the weight room and class too," said Brown, whose children call Bell "Big Brother Kyle." "He is not just a great football player, he's a great young man."

A valedictorian with a 4.1 GPA, Bell still found time to be involved with his community and church.

"He always took care of his own business, and he took responsibility well. We haven't really ever had to worry about him," David Bell said of his son.

David Bell also said it was a surreal feeling for everyone seeing their farm boy on ESPN last week against Air Force.

"This little town is so excited to have one of their own doing this," Brown said.

Bell is currently leading the Mountain West Conference and is ranked 11th in nation in rushing, averaging just over 115 yards a game. He is also ranked 13th nationally in all-time prep rushing yards, putting him in good company alongside future NFL hall-of-famer Emmitt Smith, Indianapolis Colts' James Mungro and Florida State running back Lorenzo Booker.

"It's pretty sweet to know that I am that high up on the list. I know the fact that I played at a smaller school contributed, but it is definitely something I am proud of," said Bell of his high school career.

CSU looks to extend its current win streak to three with a victory over Utah this Saturday. Bell has a chance to rush for his third consecutive 100-yard game, but as usual he has winning on his mind more than his personal stats.

"We know we have as good a chance as anyone of winning this conference," he said. "It's been our goal from day one."

As of early Thursday there were only 1,000 tickets left for Saturday's home game.

It seems as though with Bell Train in the backfield, everyone's trying to find a way they can catch the ride.

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