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Want to Feel Old? Tatum Bell Jr. Attended Camps at Oklahoma State Last Weekend

The elder Tatum Bell is the ninth-leading rusher in OSU’s history.



[Tatum Bell/Twitter]

Tatum Bell was my first favorite Oklahoma State player.

Back in the early 2000s, there weren’t a ton of running backs rocking single-digit numbers. That mixed with his 95-yard runs made him an exciting watch in my formative football years. Some OSU fans might’ve felt old when Barry J. Sanders was returning kicks in Boone Pickens Stadium. Well, would you believe that Tatum Bell Jr. was at an Oklahoma State camp last weekend?

“It was a good time,” the elder Bell told PFB. “I’m big on him going to OSU. His eyes are wide open. He likes whoever likes him. But we just wanted to go down, get on OSU’s radar and just meet the coaches. Well, I know them, but let him meet the coaches. It’s not for me, it’s for him. I just wanted him to get on the radar pretty much and go from there and compete.”

Bell Jr. is a Class of 2026 prospect, meaning he just finished up his freshman year at Frisco Heritage High School. A wide receiver, the younger Bell caught four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown with the varsity team this season, according to MaxPreps.

The elder Bell, who recently earned his degree, seemed to be having a blast walking through Oklahoma State’s facilities, as he documented it on his Twitter. The stadium, locker room, weight room and pretty much everything else is Stillwater has gotten quite the facelift since Bell played in 2003. Bell Jr. seemed impressed, too.

“If you can’t get strong in here, you just ain’t gonna get strong,” said Bell Jr. in a video his dad posted of OSU’s weight room.

“Man, man, man, our facilities are off the chain,” Bell told PFB. “Last time I went, the locker room wasn’t finished. They were redoing it, so I didn’t get to see it. So that was my first time seeing the locker room. Man, man, man. It just makes you so appreciative things you have in life. I’m just happy it’s my school. Our facilities are the top of the line. We could go compete with anybody else. … Compared to when I was there, it was just kind of getting that ball rolling.”

Let’s also use this as an excuse to go back and look at how good Tatum Bell was as a Cowboy. He ranks ninth in program history with his 3,409 rushing yards. His 34 rushing touchdowns are tied with Jeremy Smith for sixth in program history.

One of the most exciting parts of his game was that Bell always was just a cut away from a house call. He is the only Cowboy to have two of the Top 10 longest rushes in program history. He went 88 yards against Southern Miss as a junior in 2022, the ninth-longest rush in program history. He bested that in his senior season with a 95-yard run against Texas Tech, the third-longest rush in program history.

The Denver Broncos selected Bell in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played in 54 NFL games, running for 2,773 yards and 16 touchdowns.

But now Bell is in a new role. Instead of running through stadiums of 50,000 people he is going to camps and track meets watching his kids carve their own paths.

“That’s all we’re trying to do is compete because our film is gonna do the talking for us,” Bell told PFB. “That’s where we’re going to separate ourselves. A lot of these kids are getting hyped for what they can run in the 40 or in 7-on-7. Nah, we’re gonna let our football film do the talking.”

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