Originally posted on Little Brother Blog  |  Last updated 9/4/12

Le'Veon Bell launched the Spartans into the 2012 season with a win because of his big performance against Boise State, but he also launched himself from darkhorse in the Heisman race to candidate.Le'Veon Bell put his name in early Heisman discussions with a big game against Boise State. (MLive.com Photo)

That's what a 50-touch, two-touchdown game with 265 total yards will do for a player.

In the initial Heisman Watch from ESPN, Bell received enough votes to place him third behind USC's Matt Barkley and West Virginia's Geno Smith.

One of ESPN's experts even gave Bell his first-place vote.

Sports Illustrated ranked its top three in the same order, as Bell again checked in at number three.

ESPN's Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett added that if there was a week one Heisman trophy, Bell might be the winner of it.

Building on that thought, CBSSports went as far as to name Bell its Heisman player of the week. Chris Huston had this to say about the Spartans' feature back.

"It made perfect sense to project that Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell would see a surge in production following the departure of backfield mate Edwin Baker to the NFL. But I'm not sure anyone expected him to morph into the kind of workhorse he became in the Spartans' 17-13 win over Boise State on Friday night. The 6-foot-2, 244-pound junior battered BSU's defense to the tune of 210 yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries. He also caught six passes for 55 yards. That's 50 touches, for those keeping score at home. ... If Bell comes through with another huge game against Notre Dame two Saturdays from now, it will be time for Michigan State to start pushing him for the Heisman."

Bell also was named Big Ten co-offensive player of the week -- shared with Nebraska's Taylor Martinez.

While there is no Heisman for a one-game performance or a September Heisman, the performance Bell turned in certainly has drawn attention from the media -- and will draw more from opposing defenses moving forward. The carries will continue to come, not 44 per game like against the Broncos, so the former two-star recruit will have his chances.

The Spartans play at Central Michigan at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

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