BELL EARNS SPOT ON SPORTS NETWORK BUCK BUCHANAN AWARD WATCH LIST
July 10, 2014
MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin senior linebacker Tony Bell has been recognized as one of 20 players on the Sports Network Buck Buchanan Award watch list, which was announced this morning.
The Buck Buchanan Award is annually handed out to the most outstanding defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision ranks. This year’s widespread watch list includes six defensive ends, five linebackers, five safeties, two defensive tackles and two cornerbacks. The list can undergo revision during the 2014 season, as ballots will be sent to a national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season.
Bell, who has already been crowned as a Preseason All-American by the Sports Network, Sporting News and Beyond Sports Network, appears primed for a big season as the leader of the Skyhawk defense in 2014. The 6-1, 200-pound linebacker ranked first in the Ohio Valley Conference with 10.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss on his way to first team All-OVC accolades in 2013. He also forced three fumbles (ranking second in the OVC), fell on three fumble recoveries (ranking fourth) and made 80 tackles (ranking 10th).
A Memphis, Tenn. native, Bell garnered national attention in 2013, twice earning National Defensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the first mention after racking up five tackles for loss at Football Bowl Subdivision powerhouse Boise State on Sept. 7 and later would claim the same accolade after a career-best 16 tackles and OVC-record 4.5 sacks against OVC rival Murray State on Nov. 2.
Bell’s 14.5 career sacks rank fourth in the all-time UT Martin record book, just three sacks away from Emanuel McNeil’s school record of 17 career sacks from 1985-88.