Jess Lanier grad dies from cancer

BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) - Former Jess Lanier High School student and Mississippi State redshirt sophomore defensive end Nick Bell, 20, died Tuesday afternoon after skin cancer spread to his brain, UAB Medical Center doctors announced.

Bell was diagnosed with cancer earlier this fall. Several of Bell's Mississippi State team members traveled to Birmingham Monday night to visit with his family. The team was informed Tuesday afternoon of Bell's passing.

"This is a tragedy for Nick's family, our football program, our community and everyone who had the privilege to meet and be around Nick Bell," Mississippi State Head Football Coach Dan Mullen said on the team's website. "Nick lived his life like a champion and will always be remembered in our hearts that way. During this impossible time, we pray for Nick's family and all those he has touched."

Bell started in four games and played in 16 for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. He played in the first four games of the 2010 season, including starts against Auburn and Georgia. He recorded
22 career tackles, including seven this season.

According to his bio on the team's website, Bell was named as an honorable mention all-metro by the Birmingham News as a linebacker. He led his high school team to a 10-3 record his senior year and into the second round of the state playoffs.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced. The Mississippi State Athletic Department will establish a memorial fund for the Bell family through the Bulldog Club. Donations can be made by calling 662-325-3074.

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved.