August 22, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin seniors Tony Bell and Charles Sweeton added to their growing list of preseason accolades today when the duo was named Preseason Football All-Americans by Phil Steele Publications.

Bell was named to the second team defense as the No. 8 ranked linebacker in the Football Championship Subdivision while Sweeton earned fifth team offense honors as the 12th best offensive tackle in the FCS ranks. Overall, 14 Ohio Valley Conference selections appeared on the prestigious list, which was compiled by college draft evaluator Josh Buchanan of JBScouting and a small school scout with the NFLPA Bowl.

The accolade marks the sixth Preseason All-American accolade for Bell, who has also been crowned as one of the nation’s best by the Sports Network, Sporting News, Beyond Sports Network, Athlon Sports and the FCS Senior Scout Bowl. He also was named the Preseason National Defensive Player of the Year by College Sports Madness and one of 20 players on the Buck Buchanan Award watch list.

Bell ranked atop the OVC in sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (15) in 2013 while also ranking in the top-10 in the league with three forced fumbles (second), three fumble recoveries (fourth) and 80 tackles (10th). The 6-1, 200-pound Memphis native was also named National Defensive Player of the Week twice last fall.

Meanwhile, Sweeton has been named a preseason All-OVC selection by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors while also earning all-league accolades by Beyond Sports Network and College Sports Madness.

A 6-5, 291-pound left tackle out of Lawrenceburg, Sweeton has developed into one of the top offensive linemen in the OVC. The redshirt senior has earned the starting nod in all 34 games in his Skyhawk career, helping UT Martin allow just 36 sacks in three seasons. In 2013, Sweeton was a key cog in the Skyhawk offensive line that led the OVC in least sacks allowed (19).

UT Martin holds its fourth and final scrimmage of the fall season on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks officially kick off their 2014 season on Aug. 30 when they travel to the University of Kentucky for an 11 a.m. CT start.

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