De'Eric Bell Becomes Guilford's First All-America Running Back Since 1976

De'Erics Bell '18 (Photo by Brian Bishop, D3photo.com)
De'Erics Bell '18 (Photo by Brian Bishop, D3photo.com)

SHENANDOAH, Texas – Guilford College's De'Eric Bell earned third-team recognition on the 2018 D3football.com All-America Team Friday night. Bell, a redshirt senior, is the first Quakers' running back so honored since Reggie Kenan '77 in 1976.

The website announced its 2018 All-Americans prior to its webcast of the NCAA Division III football title game. Selections were made by website staff based on those students named to D3football.com's first- and second-team all-region squads.

The announcement marks Bell's second All-America honor this week as he was a repeat selection to the American Football Coaches' Association's First Team Division III All-America unit as the all-purpose back. Bell was a first-team return specialist on D3football.com's All-America team in 2017 and a third-team return specialist in 2015. He accrued five different All-America honors in his distinguished career.

The 5-7, 195-pound Bell enjoyed the finest season by a Guilford running back in school history. He garnered D3football.com First Team All-South Region and First Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) honors. Bell set school season standards for rushing yards (1,334), rushing touchdowns (21), 100-yard rushing games (7), and 200-yard rushing games (2) in a season. He won his fifth career ODAC Offensive Player of the Week Award after rushing for 225 yards and a school-record five touchdowns versus Methodist University September 8. He led NCAA Division III in all-purpose yards per game (239.89) for the second year in a row and placed fourth in rushing touchdowns (21). Bell also boasted top-seven national rankings in rushing yards per game (148.2), points per game (14.2), total points (126), and total touchdowns (21).

Bell shattered all of Guilford's career rushing, scoring (384 points), touchdowns (63), kickoff return (2,342 yards), and all-purpose yardage (8,396 yards) records this fall. His 4,213 career rushing yards broke Kenan's former mark (3,486) that stood since 1976. Bell set the ODAC's career kickoff-return yards record and concluded his career ranked second among the ODAC's career rushing, scoring and touchdowns leaders. His league-best 8,396 career all-purpose yards stand fifth in NCAA Division III history.

Coach Chris Rusiewicz's Quakers posted a 3-6 overall record and went 2-5 in the ODAC. Guilford could return as many as 62 letter winners next fall, including 16 starters.