TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State junior Shakir Bell and senior Johnny Towalid were named to the Football Championship Subdivision All-America team Monday 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 and 2001.
Bell was named to The Sports Network All-America second team after picking up four different first-team honors last season. He was named All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team 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 ISU — and 11 TDs, with a long gain of 64 yards. His averages were 5.5 yards per rush and 134.1 yards per game.
He also 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.
His 134.1 yards of total offense per game ranked 10th in the MVFC and he averaged 6.55 points per game, sixth in the MVFC and tied for 77th nationally. 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 five of the eight MVFC contests. He was the MVFC Offensive Player Of The Year in 2011 and tied for second in the Walter Payton Award voting, the first sophomore to ever finish in the top three.
Towalid picked up third-team honors from The Sports Network. He was an All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first-team selection in 2012.
He set school records with three interception returns for touchdowns and two in a game at No. 1 North Dakota State, and now has the ISU 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 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.