TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Indiana State senior tailback Shakir Bell has been named a First Team Preseason All-America selection today (July 1) by The Sports Network.
Last season, Bell was named to the Associated Press All-American Third Team after picking up four different first team honors in 2011. He was named First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2012 and finished third in the MVFC Offensive Player Of The Year balloting. He was also named to The Sports Network FCS All-American Team last year and is the first Sycamore to earn back-to-back All-America honors since Richard Harris did it in 2000 & 2001.
Bell finished as the Sycamores' leading rusher with 269 attempts for 1,475 yards (third-best ever at Indiana State) 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.
He enters the 2013 campaign with 3,794 rushing yards for his career which is third on the Sycamore all-time list. He needs just 542 yards on the ground during his senior campaign to become Indiana State's all-time leading rusher and eclipse the total of 4,335 yards set by Vincent Allen from 1973-77. His 3,794 career rushing yards ranks 11th all-time in the history of the Missouri Valley Football Conference and he needs 953 to top Herb Donaldson's record of 4,746 set from 2005-08 at Western Illinois.
Indiana State begins preseason practice on August 1 with the opener coming on August 29 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) against Indiana in a game that will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network.