June 5, 2013
GEORGE ALDERTON MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
(Presented to top male athlete of 2012-13)
WINNER: Le'Veon Bell (Football)
A first-team All-Big Ten selection (coaches and media) and Doak Walker Award semifinalist, junior running back Le'Veon Bell delivered one of the most productive offensive seasons in school history in 2012.
Bell won the Big Ten overall rushing title by averaging 137.9 yards per game, which also ranked third in the NCAA FBS, to become the first Spartan to win the Big Ten overall rushing title since Tico Duckett in 1990. In addition, Bell's 1,793 rushing yards ranked fifth in the NCAA FBS and marked the second-highest single-season total in MSU history. He also led the NCAA FBS with 382 carries - the third-best single-season total in school history and fourth highest in the Big Ten record book. Bell accounted for 92 percent of Michigan State's rushing yards (1,793 of 1,942) and 78 percent of its rushing attempts (382 of 492) in 2012.
An All-America selection by CollegeFootballNews.com (first team), Phil Steele (fourth team) and SI.com (honorable mention), Bell was named recipient of the 2012 Elite Running Back Trophy (National Running Back of the Year) by the College Football Performance Awards.
The 6-foot-2, 237-pound Bell was one of just four players in the NCAA FBS to produce three 200-yard rushing games in 2012 (Toledo's David Fluellen, Air Force's Cody Getz, Western Kentucky's Antonio Andrews). He also became only the second Spartan to post three 200-yard rushing games in a season (Lorenzo White: school-record four times in 1985). Bell recorded eight 100-yard rushing games - the second-highest single-season total in MSU history.
According to STATS, Bell gained 922 of his 1,793 rushing yards (51 percent) after contact, which ranked first among all NCAA FBS running backs, and broke 16 tackles. In addition, he produced 82 first downs and 34 runs of 10 or more yards, including 13 gains of 20 or more yards.
Bell ranked second in the Big Ten and 14th in the NCAA FBS in all-purpose yards, averaging 155.7 yards per game. His 2,024 all-purpose yards marked the fourth-highest single-season total in Spartan history. He also ranked among the conference leaders in rushing TDs (tied for fourth with 12) and total offense (10th at 140.2 ypg.). A complete back, his 32 receptions (167 yards) ranked fifth on the team.
The Columbus, Ohio, native produced the top single-game total in the NCAA FBS in 2012 for carries (44 vs. Boise State) and eighth-most rushing yards (266 vs. Minnesota).
"We congratulate Le'Veon Bell on being selected MSU's Male Athlete of the Year," head football coach Mark Dantonio said. "In 2012, Le'Veon Bell established himself as a complete football player. He led the Big Ten and finished third in the nation with nearly 1,800 rushing yards. With more than 380 carries, Le'Veon proved his physical durability. He was an excellent pass receiver out of the backfield and a solid pass-blocker. With his versatility, Le'Veon had the ability to impact the game in a lot of different ways."
Bell was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round (No. 48 overall) of the 2013 National Football League Draft. He was the second running back chosen in the draft and was the highest drafted offensive player from Michigan State since 2008.
Bell was selected Offensive Player of the Game after accounting for 187 combined yards (rushing, passing and receiving) in the Spartans' 17-16 come-from-behind victory over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. He carried 32 times for 145 yards against the Horned Frogs, with 107 of those rushing yards coming in the second half including a 4-yard TD run that gave MSU its first lead at 14-13 with 7:00 left in the fourth quarter.
During the 2012 regular-season, Bell was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week three times (Aug. 31 vs. Boise State; Sept. 22 vs. Eastern Michigan; Nov. 24 vs. Minnesota). He rushed 35 times for a career-high 266 yards - the most by a Big Ten player in 2012 - and a TD in MSU's 26-10 win at Minnesota, as the Spartans became bowl eligible for a school record sixth-straight season.
Bell rushed for 3,346 yards and 33 TDs in 40 career games. He finished his career ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (sixth with 33), rushing attempts (sixth with 671), rushing yards (seventh with 3,346) and all-purpose yards (ninth with 4,114). Bell had 12 career 100-yard rushing games, which is eighth most in MSU history. Bell also had 78 career receptions for 531 yards (6.8 avg.) and one score.
PAST WINNERS - ALDERTON MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
2012-Draymond Green (basketball); 2011-Greg Jones (football); 2010-Greg Jones (football); 2009-Franklin Gomez (wrestling); 2008-Jeff Lerg (hockey); 2007-Jeff Lerg (hockey); 2006-Brad Gebauer (track and field); 2005-Nick Simmons (wrestling); 2004-Jeff Smoker (football); 2003-Charles Rogers (football); 2002-Paul Terek (track and field); 2001-Ryan Miller (hockey); 2000-Mateen Cleaves (basketball); 1999-Mateen Cleaves (basketball) and Mike York (hockey); 1998-Chad Alban (hockey); 1997-Reid Friedrichs (soccer); 1996-David Morgan (wrestling); 1995-Shawn Respert (basketball); 1994-Emilio Collins (wrestling); 1993-Bryan Smolinski (hockey); 1992-Anthony Hamm (cross country/track and field); 1991-Steve Smith (basketball); 1990-Kip Miller (hockey) and Percy Snow (football); 1989-Bobby Reynolds (hockey); 1988-Todd Krumm (football/baseball); 1987-Don McSween (hockey); 1986-Mike Donnelly (hockey), Lorenzo White (football), Scott Skiles (basketball); 1985-Sam Vincent (basketball); 1984-Carl Banks (football); 1983-Ron Scott (hockey); 1982-Ron Scott (hockey).