TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Indiana State junior Shakir Bell and senior Johnny Towalid have been named to the FCS All-America Team as announced today (Dec. 10) by The Sports Network.
Bell is being honored by the national wire service for the second consecutive season while Towalid picks up his first-ever All-America honor. Bell is the first Sycamore to earn back-to-back All-America honors since Richard Harris did it in 2000 & 2001.
Bell was named to The Sports Network All-American Second Team after picking up four different first team honors last season. He was named First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference earlier this month and finished third in the MVFC Offensive Player Of The Year balloting.
He finished as the Sycamores' leading rusher with 269 attempts for 1,475 yards (third-best ever at INS) and 11 TDs, with a long rush of 64 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per rush and 134.1 yards per game. He set the MVFC single-game rushing record with 349 yards on the ground against Drake and was named MVFC and National Offensive Player Of The Week following that game. Bell finished second in the league in rushing yards per game and sixth nationally (134.1 rushing yards per game) while his 134.1 yards of total offense per game ranked 10th in the MVFC. He averaged 6.55 points per game, which was sixth in the MVFC and tied for 77th nationally while his 147.0 all purpose yards per game was second in the league and 17th in FCS. Bell went over 100 yards rushing seven times, including in 5-of-8 MVFC contests. He was the MVFC Offensive Player Of The Year in 2011 and finishing tied for second in the Walter Payton Award voting and became the first sophomore to ever finish in the Top 3.
Towalid was named to his first All-American Team, picking up third team honors from The Sports Network. He was a First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection in 2012.
He set a new Indiana State record with three interception returns for a touchdown while also setting the school record with two pick 6's in a game at No. 1 North Dakota State as well as the career record with four. He was named the MVFC and National Defensive Player Of The Week for his two interception returns for a touchdown against the Bison and paced the team with five interceptions on the season, which tied for second-best in the MVFC and ranked tied for eighth nationally. Towalid recorded 34 total tackles, including one for a loss and broke up nine passes, recovered a fumble and blocked a kick. He had a season-best six tackles at North Dakota State and posted multiple tackles in 10-of-11 games.