Mississippi State Basketball's Jimmy Bell Joining Football Team

Jimmy Bell joined Mississippi State basketball for this past season to provide the Bulldogs depth at center. Could he now be providing depth along the offensive line for football?
Mar 16, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA;  Auburn Tigers forward Johni Broome (4) takes a shot in the face
Mar 16, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Auburn Tigers forward Johni Broome (4) takes a shot in the face / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

With the Mississippi State basketball season having come to a close, more attention is being put on Mississippi State football's spring practices, as first year head coach Jeff Lebby will look to turn around the Bulldogs.

But it's not just State fans and media who are now turning their focus to spring football. One Bulldog basketball player seems ready to lock-in on football too.

Mississippi State basketball center Jimmy Bell, who transferred to State for his final basketball season in 2023, will be joining the football team this spring. The news was first reported by Paul Jones of On3.

The 6'10", 280 lb center isn't new to football. In high school, Bell was recruited as an offensive tackle. The 247 Sports composite ratings graded Bell as a 3-star prospect in the 2018 class. The Saginaw, Michigan native held football offers from Akron and Eastern Michigan but ultimately chose to attend Saint Louis University for basketball.

When he transferred to West Virginia in 2022, Bell gave football another go. He worked under Neal Brown's Mountaineer program at tackle but never played.

Though Bell's eligibility for basketball has been exhausted, he'd still be eligible to play football. So now that his college hoops career has come to an end, he's looking to take his talents from the hardwood to the gridiron, this time at Mississippi State. And given his size combined with the fluidity that comes with playing basketball, he makes for an intriguing tackle prospect for Jeff Lebby and OL coach Cody Kennedy.

Jimmy Bell was an important piece for Mississippi State basketball this season. He transferred in to provide much-needed depth behind Tolu Smith at center, and that move proved all the more critical once Smith went down with injury prior to the season.

Bell started the first 14 games of the season for the Bulldogs while Smith was out and then as Smith was getting back up to speed. During Smith's absence, Bell had an incredible game against Rutgers with 17 points and 18 rebounds. He would later again take Smith's spot in the starting lineup in consecutive games against Ole Miss and LSU, a strategy that proved effective with State winning both games easily.

Now we'll see if he can make an impact along the Mississippi State football offensive line. This will be a fun story to follow during spring practices.