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Two Browns players back home again in Indianapolis

Colts game brought 2 Browns players back home again

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Sunday was a homecoming for two Cleveland Browns players.

Offensive lineman Dawand Jones and wide receiver David Bell both returned home to Indianapolis. Greeted by hundreds of loved ones and familiar faces, the two former Central Indiana high school stars played in their hometown stadium, but against their hometown team.

“It meant a lot,” Bell said. “Just from dreaming as a little boy being able to play in the NFL, then coming back to your home state to play against the Colts. Definitely a phenomenal feeling.”

Before being drafted by the Browns, both won state championships for their respective high schools — Jones with the Ben Davis Giants in 2017, then Bell with the Warren Central Warriors in 2018. Each of those games in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Bell and Jones continued that winning tradition in the home of the Colts Sunday, as their Browns team came out on top of the 39-38 barn burner.

“It was a crazy feeling (running out of the tunnel),” Jones said. “I saw my mom and my aunt in the corner, and that kind of got me going. It just inspired me. You know, they’re from here. It was a way to send them a dub, and also myself a dub.”

Bell had over 300 friends and family in attendance, including his cousin — who gave birth to her daughter right in Lucas Oil Stadium during the game.

“I mean, it was unreal,” Bell said. “I knew she was due in the next few weeks, but I didn’t expect it to be today, so it’s God’s timing, and I’m just happy to have a brand new niece up in the stands.”

The homecoming was also a chance for Bell to go against former Warren Central teammate JuJu Brents — the Colts second round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Bell said he and Brents shared a “surreal” conversation pregame — realizing how rare the matchup is.

“Obviously, we all wanted to get to this point, but we never really know where you’re going to be at until you get there,” Bell said. “I think the conversation was just humbling and obviously about how God blessed us. We both realize that we have a lot of young people looking up to us, and we are kind of showing the way that if you have a goal and the right foundation around you, if your habits fit in line with your goals, you can do anything.”

“Indiana high school football is for real,” Jones said. “We’re dogs no matter where we’re at or where we come from.”