Extremely efficient WSU WR Renard Bell trying his hand at the coin toss

Sep 5, 2019, 8:42 PM
WSU WR Renard Bell...
Renard Bell took over WSU coin toss duties as team captain because of his size. (AP)

It wasn’t success on “The Price is Right” that earned WSU wide receiver Renard Bell the role of captain for the pregame coin toss in the Cougars’ season opener. Still, the reason is just as ‘Mike Leach’ as ever.

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“They thought it would be pretty funny, me being pretty small and (the opposing team) having four big dudes across from me,” the 5-foot-8, 162-pound Bell said with a laugh when I spoke with him on Wednesday. “I thought it was pretty funny as well, so I was really excited to go test Jamal’s record.”

Jamal is Jamal Morrow, who was the single game captain for Washington State for 35 consecutive games in his career, winning the coin toss a record 24 times. Cougars coach Leach notoriously chose Morrow for the job after Morrow appeared on the game show “The Price is Right” and almost won the Showcase Showdown.

Despite the quirky reasons behind the choice of Bell, Leach endorsed him as a great teammate in his Monday afternoon press conference.

“Renard’s a great guy, everyone loves Renard,” Leach said.

It didn’t temper Bell’s excitement about the nod, either.

“When I first found out, my position coach told me – Coach Nichol (WSU inside receivers coach Dave Nichol),” Bell said. “He just asked me how I felt about being the coin toss guy. I was excited because… he told me I was the only one and that was pretty cool.”

Bell is the shortest player on WSU’s depth chart and the second lightest to 160-pound Calvin Jackson, but looks can be deceiving. The redshirt junior caught 20 passes for 202 yards last season, scoring five touchdowns.

Let that sink in for a moment – 25% of the time Bell touched the ball, he was scoring a touchdown. When asked how he’s such an efficient target, he keeps it simple.

“Just playing my role in the offense, no matter what it is, going full-speed on every play. Whether it’s blocking or running my routes, just making everything look the same,” he explained. “I think that’s what helps me get the ball and the ball finds me.”

Renard’s size defies his personality as much as it does his production. Hardly ever seen without a smile, he celebrates his teammates’ successes as much as his own. In fact, perhaps even more so. Anyone who follows him on Twitter knows it carries far beyond Martin Stadium.

“I would describe myself as not being afraid to be who I am, pretty funny, mellow and just an outgoing person,” he said when asked to sum up his boisterous personality. “I don’t really have a problem with being myself.”

Fun off the field is no distraction for Bell, either. His focus is on-point through camp and the season. His energy, as he puts it, is “on the little details – once you get the little details down, the big stuff will come. When you focus on the little things, it just makes everything better. It brings everyone closer.”

Always his dream to play in the Pac-12, Bell committed quickly to Washington State. His trajectory has been consistently ticking upward ever since.

Keeping up tradition with the RBER, ot the Renard Bell Efficiency Rating, a stat I dubbed that is a receptions-to-touchdowns ratio, Renard had a single catch in the Cougars’ season-opening win over New Mexico State – for nine yards and one touchdown.

Yes, his current RBER rating is 100%.

Bell and the No. 22 Cougars continue play at 2 p.m. Saturday against Northern Colorado. The game will be broadcast on AM 770 KTTH with coverage starting at noon.

Follow WSU football reporter Jessamyn McIntyre on Twitter.

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Extremely efficient WSU WR Renard Bell trying his hand at the coin toss