Cameron Bell will bring him both a heavy heart and a appreciation for life you don't normally find in an 18-year old when he arrives in Ames this summer.
The 2007 Iowa State football recruit has already faced one of the worst fears for any child—twice.
Imagine having your father pass away when you are just six years old. Then imagine that at the age of 12 your mother loses her battle with liver cancer. This was the childhood that future Cyclone Cameron Bell had to face.
Fortunately for Cameron he had an older brother who took him and his seven other siblings in when they had no place else to go. Many kids may have allowed these devastating occurrences to control their destiny, but Bell isn't any ordinary young man. Inspired by the memory of his mother, he chose to live by the principles his mother engrained in him as a child.
"She taught me to be the best you can be at whatever you do, whether it's
sports, school or life," Bell said.
It's almost hard to believe that after losing both of his parents before finishing junior high school Bell keeps such a positive perspective.
"I feel blessed and very grateful to be able to sign a letter-of-intent with Iowa State University," Bell said. "I come from a family of 13 and I am the first one to attend college on a full-ride scholarship."
Bell was led to Iowa State by the coaching carousel.
He was originally being recruited by Gene Chizik when he was still Texas' defensive coordinator. When Chizik left the Longhorns to become the head coach of the Cyclones, Michigan State slipped in and Bell thought he would eventually sign with the Spartans. Then Michigan State fired John L. Smith and took its time finding his replacement, so he lost contact with MSU.
That's when Chizik called on Bell again. After visiting ISU and praying about it Bell decided to become a Cyclone. His recruitment ended where it originally began, with his relationship with Chizik.
"I guess everything works out for the best," Bell said.
Bell said that all Chizik has guaranteed him is a fair opportunity to compete for the running back position.
"I was told that Jason Scales was already there and that JUCO All-American Jamicah Bass was coming in," Bell said. "But that's okay with me because I like being the underdog."
In exchange for the chance to play running back, Bell agreed to make the move to linebacker – which is where the ISU staff feels he is best suited to play in the Big 12 – if he doesn't win the starting running back job.
"You can never plan out your career," Bell said. "I can only come in and play
as hard as I can and compete right away. I feel my career will be accomplished
and complete if I help ISU, the coaches and my teammates become winners. Winning
is everything and nobody want's to be second best."