RUSTON – When Louisiana Tech senior Mitchell Bell hung up his cleats for the final time at Evan Edward Worthing High School, the unsought recruit felt he had more to offer. He knew he was not ready to hang it up for good.
After playing his high school football in his hometown of Houston, Bell moved on to junior college to prove to coaches across the country he had the talent to compete at the Division 1 level. It did not take coaches long to notice the 354-pound offensive tackle.
Bell became one of the most highly-sought offensive linemen coming out of Navarro Community College where he was a two-time all-conference player.
“I was down to Baylor and Tech and ended up sticking with Tech,” Bell said. “I knew I was going to have to come to work, and it was not going to be given to me just because I was a big time recruit. I was going to work as hard here as I would have at a power five school.”
Bell turned out to be one of the first players to commit to the Bulldogs under newly-hired offensive line coach Matt Moore.
“We got him in on a visit, and he had some big time offers from Arkansas and Baylor,” Moore said. “I feel like he just felt like this was the right place for him, with what he wanted to do. He had the opportunity to play very quickly here.”
After participating in spring and fall practice, Bell made his first appearance for the Bulldogs during the North Carolina State game on August 30, 2013. Just three weeks later, Bell made his first start in a Tech uniform when the team traveled to Big 12 country to take on the Kansas Jayhawks.
“My first year here, we had a rough season with new players and coaches,” Bell said. “I still believed in the coaches, and I knew we were going to get things right. This year we are still putting some pieces together, but we are getting better. We are getting good, and I have really enjoyed my time here.”