Mississippi State coaches, players mourn loss of teammate Nick Bell


By NEMS Daily Journal

Nick Bell was honored one last time by the SEC, and in a big way.

The Mississippi State defensive end, who died Nov. 2 after a battle with skin cancer, was named honorary captain of the All-SEC Coaches' team, which was released Tuesday.

Bell was a sophomore who played in four games this season before being diagnosed with skin cancer. His condition worsened rapidly Halloween weekend, and he died just two days after entering the hospital.

Bell was memorialized the following weekend on each SEC telecast, and MSU's next two road opponents, Alabama and Ole Miss, each had a moment of silence for him before kickoff.

Two Bulldogs were named to the first team: senior left tackle Derek Sherrod and senior defensive end Pernell McPhee. Sherrod was also first team on the AP team released Monday.

Senior middle linebacker Chris White, an AP first-teamer, made the coaches' second team along with Ole Miss junior defensive tackle Jerrell Powe, who recently declared his intention to enter the 2011 NFL Draft.

LSU had the most first-team selections with five, while Alabama and SEC champion Auburn had four apiece. Alabama had 12 total members to LSU's eight.

Auburn had no second-team selections. Its four first-teamers were quarterback Cam Newton, center Ryan Pugh, offensive tackle Lee Ziemba and defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

The Tigers are playing Oregon in the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 10, and Newton will be in New York this weekend for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

LSU's Patrick Peterson was a first-teamer at two positions: defensive back and return specialist.

The first team had 12 seniors, 12 juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. The freshman was South Carolina tailback Marcus Lattimore, who's second in the league in rushing.

The individual awards will be announced today, and the all-freshman team will be announced Thursday.

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