From FAMU Rattler to Dallas Cowboy

Bell and Tallahassee Little League Football Players. Image Credits: Breche’ DaValt

Markquese Bell, former Rattler football star, has worked his way up to the National Football League as a Dallas Cowboy.

This past week, Bell returned to Tallahassee, utilizing his bye week to visit family and friends. Bell was asked to be the honorary captain and coin flipper for the Tallahassee Little League Football Teams at James Messer Park.

Bell’s ten-year-old brother, Osiris Boykin, was excited to see his older brother and is very proud of his recent accomplishments. Boykin, like his brother, wants to attend FAMU to play football and go into the league as a Dallas Cowboy.

“He’s really passionate and a role model. I want him to do great things,” Boykin said.

Bell began his career as a Florida A&M University Rattler in 2019, where he redshirted until the Fall 2021 season. Bell put up impressive numbers as the Rattlers transitioned from the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Within 12 starts, Bell levied 95 tackles, 6.5 for loss with two tackles and one interception. 

The defensive back was awarded the first-team all-conference title as well as recruiter attention. 

Being one of four HBCU athletes invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, Bell had a point to prove. Graded with a 5.68 prospective grade, unfortunately, Bell went undrafted and decided to enter rookie camp as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys. 

Outworking the competition, Bell solidified his spot on the 53-player Cowboys Roster. Though he has only played with the special teams, he is steadfast in receiving more playing time in the future. 

Mrs. Boykin, Bell’s aunt, is very proud of her nephew and is confident that he will continue to support his family and community.

“He’s just a great person all the way around,” Mrs. Boykin said. “He loves the kids, he goes out to the schools, the parks… He even started his own foundation where he is giving back.”

The foundation Bell’s Aunt refers to is The Bell Cares Foundation and the BB&B Grandmas Hands LLC. Bell’s team is currently developing the foundation’s website, and he’s eager to tackle his new project.

“This is something I wanted to do centered around youth football and basketball teams,” Bell said. “I want to get these kids outside of the city, see something new, and show them there is a bigger world than what they are seeing here.”

Family, mentorship, and football are the most important things in Bell’s life. Growing up, Bell didn’t feel he had strong guidance and mentorship, so he wanted to build a legacy that would help him uplift the next generation of young men. 

Bell is excited to finish his rookie year and grow into the player he always envisioned. He wants to constantly remind younger athletes that they can accomplish any goals they set their minds to.

“Keep working; everybody’s journey is different,” Bell said. “If you put in the work, you will end up at the right destination… if you want it, go get it.”

Bell and the Cowboys are holding tight to their second-place ranking in the NFC East and will face off against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 4:25 p.m. EST.