The Sports Network has announced that University of Tennessee at Martin linebacker Tony Bell is amongst 25 finalists from across the Football Championship Subdivision ranks for the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award.
The Buck Buchanan Award, in its 20th year of existence, is annually rewarded to the most outstanding FCS defensive player. Voting started today for a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. The winner will be announced on Dec. 15 at The Sports Network FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation.
Bell, who was also recognized on the Preseason Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, is the only Ohio Valley Conference player who made the final cut.
The 6-1, 200-pound senior out of Memphis, Tenn. recently put the finishing touches on a dominant career. He led the OVC and ranked amongst the nation’s best in tackles-for-loss (21, ninth nationally) and fumble recoveries (three, sixth). He also ranked second in the league with eight sacks – seven of which came in conference play.
Bell also led the team with 76 tackles, 11 quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. He added an interception and five pass breakups, even finding the endzone once on a 24-yard fumble recovery at nationally ranked Jacksonville State on Oct. 4.
For his career, Bell racked up a school record 22.5 sacks while also adding 237 tackles, 45 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two interceptions.