BELL NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN; SWEETON, REDDITT ALSO RECOGNIZED IN PUBLICATIONS
July 2, 2014
MARTIN, Tenn. – Tony Bell, a senior linebacker on the University of Tennessee at Martin football team, has been named a 2014 Preseason All-American by the Sports Network, Sporting News, Beyond Sports Network, Athlon Sports and the FCS Senior Scout Bowl.
Bell, who earned All-American accolades by four different media outlets last season, was also selected as a Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference honoree by Beyond Sports Network. He was joined on the Preseason All-OVC squad by teammates Charles Sweeton (offensive line) and Jackson Redditt (kicker), who was also named as one of 36 players on the College Football Performance Awards watch list.
A 6-1, 200-pound Memphis native, Bell returns to lead the Skyhawk defense in 2014. Last season, he led the OVC and ranked seventh in the nation with 10.5 sacks while also topping the league in tackles for loss (15). He also ranked in the top-10 in the OVC with three forced fumbles (second), three fumble recoveries (fourth) and 80 tackles (10th). He was named National Defensive Player of the Week twice last season after dominant efforts against Murray State (16 tackles, OVC record 4.5 sacks) and at Boise State (five tackles for loss).
A three-year starter on the UT Martin offensive line, Sweeton returns at left tackle in 2014. He has started in 33 straight games for the Skyhawks, helping UT Martin allow only 36 sacks over a stretch of three seasons. The 6-5, 291-pound redshirt senior out of Lawrenceburg was part of a Skyhawk unit that tied for first in the OVC with only 19 sacks allowed in 2013.
Redditt shined in his first season as UT Martin’s full-time kicker in 2013. The 6-2, 190-pound product of Mt. Juliet led the OVC in PAT kicking percentage (1.000, a perfect 33-for-33) while ranking third in field goals (12, 1.0 per game) and fourth in scoring for kickers (5.8 points per game, eighth overall). He kicked the second-longest field goal out of any OVC player in 2013, a 51-yarder at Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 16 – one of three total field goals he converted in a 16-7 victory.
The Skyhawks kick off the 2014 campaign at Football Bowl Subdivision opponent Kentucky on Saturday, Aug. 30. The game is slated to kick off at 11 a.m. CT and will be shown live on the new SEC Network.