Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Conversation with UCLA Running Back Kahlil Bell

After missing most of last season due to injuries as well as a 2-game suspension for breaking team rules (translation: being too confrontational with teammates and coaches), Kahlil Bell opened the Bruins 2007 schedule by rushing for 195 yards against Stanford.

LL Cool J once said, ‘Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years.’ And I guess that applies to you as well, Kahlil. You’ve been a part of this team. You’ve shown what you can do, but now you are getting a much better chance to display those skills.

I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunity that has presented itself to me. The coaches believe in me. My teammates believe in me, and they are giving me a chance to showcase my ability. Anytime I get the rock, that’s what I’m going to try to do—just showcase my ability and take advantage of the opportunity.

Is it a season of redemption for you though? Missing so many games last season with injuries and of course the suspension at the end of the season. Did you feel as if you had to redeem yourself in the eyes of your coaches and teammates?

I did in the beginning at spring ball and camp. Right now, it’s not a season of redemption. It’s a season of trying to win a championship. The stuff I’ve been through made me a stronger person, but now we need to focus, and I need to focus, on trying to be the best team in the PAC-10 and try to get that PAC-10 championship. That’s all my focus is on right now.

I would assume being away from the game as you were last season really gave you an added appreciation for it as well.

Very much so. A lot of people say ‘You don’t miss your water until your well runs dry.’ It took the things that transpired last year to happen [for me to realize that]. But now I’m back, I’m ready and I’ve put things behind me. I have moved on and I’m a better person and teammate for it.
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(Courtesy: LA Times)

People have seen what you can do on the field so far this season. Let’s get a little insight into your life off the field. Let’s play a little “What’s In.” What’s in your Ipod?

In my Ipod is a Bay Area rapper named, Mac Dre. He’s my favorite rapper. He’s his own person. That’s the thing about him. Nobody raps quite like Mac Dre, and that’s why I love him so much.

What’s in your DVD player?

The last thing I watched was this movie called “Afro Samurai.” It’s animated. I’m really into cartoons, “Dragon Ball Z,” and stuff like that.

What’s in your travel bag?

The thing I need to have in life most is cocoa butter. If I do not have my cocoa butter, we have problems. I must put on lotion every time I get out of the shower. I just love the smell of cocoa butter. I’ve been using it since I was like in the 7th grade. It’s the only lotion I use. Nothing else touches my skin.

What’s in your class schedule this semester?

A lot of people may actually find this funny or laugh, but I’m a history major and a theatre minor. So, I take a lot of theatre classes. I’m really into that. I like acting. I like being up in front of people and try to be a different person.

What’s in your wildest dreams?

To play on Sundays. I think a lot of people grow up and look forward to opportunity to get there. Hopefully in a couple of years, I will have the opportunity to play on Sundays and do what I do on that level. That’s a dream.

If you keep doing what you’ve been doing so far this season, NFL scouts will definitely be paying attention.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

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