He had to scrap and claw his way onto five NFL teams and three practice squads before getting his first real look last year with the Detroit Lions, so being the forgotten man in a crowded backfield is nothing new for Joique Bell.

But while Bell has flown under most people’s radars this off-season, the Wayne State alumnus has done plenty to catch Lions coach Jim Schwartz’s eye.

“Joique’s had an outstanding off-season,” Schwartz said after the final practice of minicamp Thursday. “Him and (Matthew) Stafford probably spent the most of the time here at the facility. Both guys are local, lived here, and both of them haunted the hallways in January, February and March, before our off-season program started. I’d come in on a Saturday, getting ready for the draft or something and try to go get on the treadmill for a little bit, and Joique would be in there on a bike or on a treadmill doing something. So he’s had a really good off-season.”

Bell was the second running back in the Lions’ rotation throughout minicamp, behind Reggie Bush and ahead of Mikel Leshoure.

Last year, he finished second on the team (to Leshoure) with 414 yards rushing. He also caught 52 passes for 485 yards.