PHILADELPHIA - Three
members of the Indiana State football team have earned selection to The Sports
Network FCS Preseason All-America Team, as seniors Ben Obaseki and Aaron Archie
and junior Shakir Bell received honors from the publication. Obaseki and Bell
both earned First Team Preseason All-American status while Archie was named to
the third team.
Bell, a junior running back from Indianapolis, Ind., was a First Team All-American selection following his standout sophomore season where he led the nation with 1,670 rushing yards. The Warren Central High School product finished tied for second in the Walter Payton Award voting, an honor given to the nation's most outstanding player. Bell averaged 151.8 yards per game on the ground and broke the school record for single-game rushing yards when he racked up 256 yards and four touchdowns in Indiana State's win over Youngstown State on Sept. 24, 2011.
Obaseki, a senior defensive end from Washington, Ind., was a First Team All-American selection last season, following a season that saw the ISU lineman place third in the Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year voting. The Washington High School product led the Sycamores with 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks for the season. Obaseki turned in one of the best defensive performances in MVFC history on Oct. 15, 2011, against Western Illinois, recording 22 tackles (seven solo, 15 assisted) with four tackles for loss and three sacks. His 22 tackles against the Leathernecks were the most in conference history by a defensive lineman.
Archie, a senior linebacker from Detroit, Mich., was named First Team All-MVFC last season after finishing 12th in the nation and second in the conference with 122 total tackles. His 122 tackles during the 2011 season ranked as the 12th-best mark in Indiana State history for a single-season total and moved his career total to 299, just one shy of becoming the 15th member of ISU's 300 Tackle Club. The Cass Tech High School product put together his best game of the season against Youngstown State on Sept. 24, 2011, recording a season-high 18 tackles with 2.5 for loss and two sacks.
Indiana State picked up two of three First Team Preseason All-American honors for the MVFC, with North Dakota State's cornerback Marcus Williams joining Bell and Obaseki on the select list. The Sycamores led the conference with their three selections, one ahead of Illinois State's two honorees.
The Sycamores open the 2012 season on Saturday, Sept. 1, in Bloomington, Ind., against the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana State opens their home schedule the following weekend when ISU hosts Quincy on Saturday, Sept. 8.