Path to the Draft – Trumane “Breezy” Bell II

By Rhys Knott

If your dad played tight end for the Nebraska Cornhuskers alongside players like Mike Minter, who went on to play for the Panthers for 10 seasons then you’d be fully immersed in every aspect of the sport. Well, that’s what happened to Trumane “Breezy” Bell II. His father played 22 games in the “Big 8” as it was then. He averaged 12 yards per touch and caught 3 touchdowns as a wide receiver and tight end.   

Where It All Began

The younger Trumane’s first football memories begin with watching his dad’s old team play on Saturdays. And they progress to loving the game his dad was such a part of. By 9 years old he had learned how different positions affect the game. Even at that young age, his passion for the game had been ignited by his father. A father who would go on to teach him just how much excitement could come from a sport that requires so much dedication.

The younger Trumane didn’t follow his dad and become a tight-end though, he doesn’t even play on offense. He has played his entire career as a defensive lineman. And what a defensive lineman he has become, his athleticism has even seen him line up as a linebacker on occasion.  

Unsurprisingly Bell says his best football coach throughout his career has been his father. He fondly remembers the influence his uncle, who passed away less than two years ago, imparted throughout his formative years. Bell says his dad has imparted “invaluable advice, unwavering motivation, and genuine care” that have shaped him into “a well-rounded player”.

But he doesn’t just credit this relationship for his football development. He goes on to say, “In both sports and life, he has consistently guided me in the right direction”. He concludes his praise for such a strong father figure, “His love and commitment make him the best at everything he does, influencing my journey in a profound way”. It’s easy to see how the younger Trumane’s love for football flourished when it’s rooted in such a special relationship.  

How does it Translate


On the field, he’s a pretty special talent too. When asked what he does his best he responds, “My strength lies in my commitment in film study, allowing me to understand the opposing team’s strengths and weaknesses”. And that film study is more than evident in his play.

Watching highlight packages there is an obvious comparison with an NFL pass rusher. There’s a lot of Aaron Donald in the clips of Bell. And while you have to temper such hyperbole with the obvious disclaimer that Donald beats NFL lineman and Bell has only played college football, Bell has put up attention-grabbing numbers. And he’s done that with some regularity. Bell’s success stems from his quickness.

He explodes off the ball and has the strength to knock blockers off balance. That is going to transfer to any level of competition. He’s got big Will Anderson Jr energy, you know he’s going to be where the ball is. 

The Past

Bell’s UTSA team won back-to-back conference titles in 2021 and 2022. If that doesn’t indicate how well he performed, Bell was named the Conference USA player of the week in Week 3. Bell recorded two sacks and forced a fumble against Middle Tennessee and modestly said it was really more of a team award.

Throughout his 23-game college career, he recorded 24 tackles for a loss and 13.5 sacks. And at the end of his college career he finished in the All-time Top 5 for both sacks and tackles for loss. As for any concerns over players from “smaller schools” stepping up to the NFL, take Bryce Huff and James Houston as examples. Huff went to Memphis and Houston attended Jackson State (after some “issues” at Florida). They have recorded 21.5 sacks between them in the last two seasons. With Huff picking up 10 on his own this season!  

The Present

But back to Bell, he’s currently preparing for the Roadrunners’ pro-day. And that promises to be interesting with at least four major prospects on show. Bell says, “I’m gearing up for my pro-day at the top-notch Sports Academy at the Star in Dallas, Texas” (it would be fascinating to see him drafted by the Cowboys by the way and they have 4 linemen hitting free agency).

Bell’s preparation includes “Embracing new challenges, I’ve incorporated unique into my routine, constantly pushing my limits”  

Pro-days, like the combine, are fun and do serve as a way to compare different athletes, But not all the tests are particularly relevant in a football context. How often do you see a player run 40 yards in a dead straight line during an NFL game?

The single most important trait a football player, or any athlete needs is coachability. And a certain amount of intelligence needs to be present for coachability to be a factor. Bell has that in spades. And the experience he has gained vicariously from his father’s time as a player will be invaluable. The younger Trumane continues, “My sporting hero is undoubtedly my dad. His passion for the game and the stories of his own football journey inspire me”.

The family environment he has grown up in is always with him, “Every success I achieve becomes a tribute to him and also honors the memory of my late uncle. Despite his absence the desire to make them proud propels me forward”  

The Future

Incidentally, a few players headed to the 2024 draft have football dads who have aided their development. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. and Marvin Harrison Jr. To name just two. It’s probably the main reason this draft promises to have more talent than any in recent memory.

When asked if there is any friendly competition between himself and his dad like there was between Irv Smith Jr. and his father before the 2019 draft. Smith Jr. Claimed he would beat the 40-yard time his dad posted, but he did not. Bell replies “Absolutely, there’s an inherent competition between me and my dad in football. The desire to excel is a driving force, creating a healthy rivalry. While it adds an extra level of motivation, the essence of our relationship is rooted in love and shared passion for the game. We push to achieve greatness, recognizing that competition can coexist with a strong bond”.

And that succinctly explains why Trumane “Breezy” Bell II is going to be successful in the NFL. 




Rhys has been watching the NFL for 30 something years and still hasn’t managed to pick a team to support. When he’s not fixatED on pass rushers you can find him blithering on about most sports on Twitter @wrhys_writes