Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 8/16/12
ALLEN PARK, Mich. Joique Bell has been one of the NFLs most productive running backs over the last couple seasons. Preseasons, that is. Bell has done his share of bouncing around the league since leaving Wayne State, a Division II school in Detroit where he rushed for 2,084 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior in 2009. Now hes back in Motown and making a favorable impression. He was running like a starting running back in the NFL, teammate Nate Burleson said of Bells 89-yard rushing performance on 16 carries in last weeks preseason opener against Cleveland. That was certainly nice to hear, but Bell wants a chance to prove hes more than a Mr. August. Despite rushing for more than 400 yards in preseason games since 2010, Joique (pronounced JOIK) has never gotten a carry during the regular season. Hes hoping that first one comes with the team from his home state. To grow up watching the Lions, going to school right down the street, working for the Lions when I was in college its a dream come true, said Bell, a 5-foot-11, 220-pound power back. He then went one step further. To be part of this team when we win our first Super Bowl, its going to be amazing, Bell said. The uncertainty at the running back position has given Bell a chance to at least open the season on the Lions 53-man roster. Jahvid Best (post-concussion issues) remains out indefinitely and isnt expected to play until midseason at the earliest, if at all. Mikel Leshoure, coming off surgery for a torn Achilles tendon, is currently hampered by a hamstring injury. He also is suspended for the first two regular-season games because of two offseason marijuana arrests. Kevin Smith is the Lions No. 1 running back right now, but it leaves Bell in the mix, right behind Stefan Logan and Keiland Williams. Bell is also trying to nail down a job with his efforts on special teams. His motivation to make it with the Lions is powerful in many ways. Bell, 26, said his late brother-in-law, former FBI agent Paul Sorce, was a major influence on his football career. Sorce was killed on duty in 2009 when he was involved in an automobile accident while doing surveillance on a suspect in Harper Woods, Mich. He was a big-time Lions fan, Bell said. He was a big part of me in college, always taking me under his wing. He looked after me. He would be ecstatic right now. He would be so proud. I cant even explain how much he wanted me to be successful. Im doing this not only for me but also in memory of him. Bell still laughs whenever he thinks back a few years to when he and Sorce were watching a Minnesota Vikings game together on television. Adrian Peterson had just made an amazing run, Bell said. I looked at him and asked, Paul, you think Ill ever be that good?' He looked at me and said, You know what? (pause) Nah. It was hilarious. Bell said Sorce got him a part-time job working security with the Lions. Bell ran into a scout one day and asked whether a player realistically could go from Wayne State to the NFL. The scout looked me in my eyes and told me, Hey, if you have talent, theyll find you, Bell said. Thats all I needed to hear. Thats when I started my grind. Bell calls going to Wayne State the best decision I didnt make. Thats because his mother made it for him. Most schools that recruited Bell out of Benton Harbor (Mich.) High were planning to move him to defense. He wanted to be a running back. Bell admits he hadnt even heard of Wayne State before he ran into some of the coaches while attending a summer football camp at the University of Michigan. Bell said he went up and started talking to one of the Wayne State assistants as part of a joke for his high-school teammates. Ive been doing a lot of research on you guys, Bell said he told the coach, tongue-in-cheek. Wayne State eventually started recruiting him and totally convinced Bells mother it was the best place for her son. Bell even got tricked by her into signing his official letter-of-intent. He was still considering other schools such as Grand Valley State and Toledo. But his mom told him early one morning, while he was still half asleep, to sign a piece of paper. Later on, she informed him she was going to fax his letter-of-intent over to Wayne State. I said, What? I didnt sign a letter of intent, Bell recalled. She said, You signed it this morning. It worked out for the best as you can tell. I never looked back. Bell had a whirlwind first year in the NFL in 2010, going back and forth between four different teams. Whenever one team would put him on its practice squad, another would move in and sign him away. He ended up playing on special teams in three regular-season games with Philadelphia and five with Indianapolis (one tackle) during that rookie year. Most of last season was spent on New Orleans practice squad before the Lions signed him away on Dec. 26. Bell is hoping to find a more permanent home one of these days. For him, nothing would be better than to make it Detroit again.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Geno Smith 'intent' on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker