MINNEAPOLIS – Guilford College’s De’Eric Bell (Jackson, Ga./Jackson) and Bryce Smith (Grayson, Ga./Grayson) represented the Quakers on 2018 D3football.com All-South Region teams, announced Tuesday. Bell, a redshirt-senior running back, received first-team honors, while Smith, a redshirt-sophomore linebacker, captured third-team recognition.
South Region sports information directors and D3football.com staff selected the 76 all-region honorees from a pool of 234 students nominated by Division III members. All-region selections are eligible for selection to D3football.com’s All-America teams, which will be announced during D3football.com’s pregame coverage of Stagg Bowl XLVI December 14.
Bell, a First Team All-South kick returner in 2017, joins Tyler Hunt ’16 as Guilford’s lone three-time All-South picks. He enjoyed the finest season by a Guilford running back in school history and also received his third First Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) honor, second-most in Guilford history. He 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. Bell won the ODAC’s Offensive Player of the Week Award for the fifth time in his career after rushing for 225 yards and a school-record five touchdowns versus Methodist University September 8. He leads NCAA Division III in all-purpose yards per game (239.89) and is fourth in rushing touchdowns (21). Bell also boasts top-seven national rankings (through games of Dec. 1) 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, kickoff return, and all-purpose yardage records following this fall. His 4,213 career rushing yards broke Reggie Kenan’s ’77 former mark of 3,486 yards that stood since 1976. Bell set the ODAC’s career kickoff return yards record (2,342) and concluded his career ranked second among the ODAC’s career rushing, scoring (384) and touchdowns (63) leaders. His league-best 8,396 career all-purpose yards stands fifth in NCAA Division III history.
Smith, a 5-9 200-pound redshirt sophomore linebacker, started all nine games. He received First Team All-ODAC honors and led the ODAC in total tackles with 105, a mark that sits 11th in Division III. He recorded 81 solo tackles, good for first in the conference. His 9.0 solo tackles per game average is first in Division III. He finished second on the squad with 10.0 tackles for loss, a mark that sits fourth in the ODAC. Smith is tied for the league lead and ranks seventh nationally with three fumble recoveries. He had seven games with over 10 total tackles, including a career-high 14 stops in wins over Ferrum College and Washington and Lee University.
Coach Chris Rusiewicz’s Quakers posted a 3-6 overall record and went 2-5 in the ODAC.