Bulldog linebacker confident of more football success at Ferris

Avonte Bell (33) is a key starter for Ferris this season. (Ferris photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Plenty is being expected of junior Ferris State linebacker Avonte Bell and the former all-stater at Lansing Sexton is ready to deliver.

Bell had two tackles including an 11-yard quarterback sack in Ferris’ 49-17 win last week in the season opener over East Stroudsburg.

“I felt we played at a high level last week,” Bell said. “We didn’t take them for granted. We had a great week of practice and executed what we needed to get a win.”

On Saturday, the Bulldogs are home against Findlay

Bell helped the team to a second-straight national quarterfinal appearance in 2017 and got significant playing time as a reserve and on special teams. He had a pair of tackles and a pass breakup. A member of the Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II National Semifinal team in 2016, he played in seven games and had 13 tackles in 2016.

“I think I’ve improved a lot,” he said. “Last year, I was not a starter. But I worked very hard. And earned myself a spot this year. I’m still working hard. When I come into the game, it’s more like a passing down and I blitz more. I have good speed and wrap up my tackles well. I can cover the slot.”

The weather’s been warm but will gradually cool down.

“I’m always looking forward to November,” Bell said. “If we’re playing in November (and December) that means we’re playing for a championship. I like playing in the cold of November and December.”

Bell played both linebacker and running back on the high school level and was a two-time all-state selection. He was a track and field all-stater. Bell covered 1,700 plus yards rushing as a junior and netted 29 touchdowns. He had five fumble recoveries and forced six fumbles in 2013 while intercepting a pass.

“I love the Ferris program,” Bell said. “Coach (Tony) Annese is a great coach. It’s more of a family atmosphere.”

avatar

Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply