Ricky Bell (running back)

Ricky Lynn Bell (April 8, 1955 – November 28, 1984) was an American professional football player who was a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. Bell was a star in college for the University of Southern California, gaining 1,875 yards rushing in his junior season.[1][2][3] The #1 Overall Selection in the 1977 NFL Draft, Bell was inducted posthumously into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Ricky Bell
refer to caption
Bell playing for the Buccaneers in 1979
No. 42
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:April 8, 1955
Houston, Texas
Died:November 28, 1984 (aged 29)
Los Angeles, California
Career information
High school:Los Angeles (CA) Fremont
College:USC
NFL Draft:1977 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing Yards:3,063
Average:3.7
Touchdowns:16
Player stats at NFL.com

Early years

Born in Houston, Texas, Bell moved to Los Angeles at age eleven and starred in football at its John C. Fremont High School.[1]

College career

Originally a linebacker,[4] Bell first attracted notice during his sophomore season at USC in 1974 as a great blocker and between-the-tackles runner, sharing the position of fullback with David Farmer for the 10–1–1 national championship team (UPI) that defeated third-ranked Ohio State 18–17 in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

In 1975, the Trojans won their first seven games. Without a passing game to balance the offense, they struggled to an 8–4 record, but was capped with a victory over Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl. During this season, Bell led the nation in rushing, gaining 1,875 yards, as he finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy and was a consensus All-American.

Then in his senior season of 1976, Bell led the Trojans team to an 11–1 record, crowned by a 14–6 victory over the Michigan Wolverines in the Rose Bowl. Despite suffering nagging injuries that limited his playing time, Bell set the USC single-game rushing record of 347 yards against Washington State at the new Kingdome,[5][6] and he was the runner-up for the Heisman, behind Tony Dorsett of Pittsburgh, the national champions.

Bell was voted the player of the year in the Pacific-8 Conference in 1976. He was also awarded the 1976 W.J. Voit Memorial Trophy as the outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast and was again a consensus All-American.

NFL career

Bell was the first overall draft choice in the 1977 NFL Draft, selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were winless in their first season in 1976. Bell signed a five-year contract for a reported $1.2 million, by far the richest contract ever signed by an NFL rookie.[7][8][9][10] This draft choice was somewhat controversial because Tony Dorsett was being projected as an arguably better back than Bell. Bell's selection was not a surprise, however, because Tampa Bay was coached by John McKay, Bell's former head coach at USC through 1975. After a couple mediocre seasons, in 1979, Bell enjoyed his finest season, rushing for 1,263 yards and leading the Buccaneers to the championship of the NFC Central Division. He led the Buccaneers to their first playoff win in franchise history that season by rushing for 142 yards on 38 carries scoring two touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles. The team fell one game short of a trip to Super Bowl XIV, ending their season by losing to the Los Angeles Rams for the NFC championship.

In March 1982, McKay sent him to the San Diego Chargers, but suffering from weight loss, aching muscles, and severe skin problems, he retired before the 1983 season.[3]

Death

Bell died at age 29 of heart failure caused by the disease of dermatomyositis.[1][2][3][4] Mario Van Peebles portrayed the player in the 1991 made-for-television movie, A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story, which was based on the life of Ricky Bell. Bell's remains were interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.

He was survived by his wife, Natalia; his 10-year-old son, Ricky, Jr., a 3-year-old daughter, Noell, and his mother, Ruth.

Honors

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Ricky Bell succumbs at age 29". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. November 29, 1984. p. 8D.
  2. ^ a b Lasswell, Doug (November 29, 1984). "Rare illnesses take life of Ricky Bell". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). p. 1C.
  3. ^ a b c Greene, Jerry (November 29, 1984). "Former Buc Ricky Bell dies". Lakeland Ledger. (Florida). (Orlando Sentinel). p. 1D.
  4. ^ a b Dufresne, Chris (March 4, 1985). "The last days of Ricky Bell". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Bell runs for 346 yards as USC clips Cougars". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. October 10, 1976. p. 6C.
  6. ^ Brown, Bruce (October 11, 1976). "Emotions are varied about WSU thriller". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). p. 19.
  7. ^ Joe Marshall, "This Agent's No Secret," Sports Illustrated, May 16, 1977.
  8. ^ Sue Ellen Jares, "The Key to Pro Football Success: Good Legs, Strong Body and a Contract Negotiated by Mike Trope," People Magazine, June 27, 1977.
  9. ^ Patrick Zier, "Ricky Bell: "It Can't Get Worse"," Lakeland Ledger, May 4, 1977.
  10. ^ Greg Hansen, "Bucs Get Ricky Bell ... Dallas Gets Tony Dorsett"," The Evening Independent, May 3, 1977.

External links

1975 College Football All-America Team

The 1975 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1975. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognizes four selectors as "official" for the 1975 season. They are: (1) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA); (2) the Associated Press (AP) selected based on the votes of sports writers at AP newspapers; (3) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) selected by the nation's football writers; and (4) the United Press International (UPI) selected based on the votes of sports writers at UPI newspapers. Other selectors included Football News (FN), the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), The Sporting News (TSN), Time magazine, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WC).

Two players were unanimously selected by all four official selectors and all five unofficial selectors. They were defensive linemen Steve Niehaus of Notre Dame and Lee Roy Selmon of Oklahoma.

The 1975 Oklahoma Sooners football team had eight players who received first-team honors. The Oklahoma honorees were Lee Roy Selmon, receiver Tinker Owens, offensive tackle Mike Vaughan, offensive guard Terry Webb, defensive end Jimbo Elrod, defensive tackle James White, middle guard Dewey Selmon, and return specialist Joe Washington. Ohio State followed with five first-team honorees: offensive guard Ted Smith, quarterback Cornelius Greene, running back and Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, defensive back Tim Fox, and punter Tom Skladany.

1976 College Football All-America Team

The 1976 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1976. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognizes four selectors as "official" for the 1976 season. They are: (1) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA); (2) the Associated Press (AP) selected based on the votes of sports writers at AP newspapers; (3) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) selected by the nation's football writers; and (4) the United Press International (UPI) selected based on the votes of sports writers at UPI newspapers. Other selectors included Football News (FN), the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), The Sporting News (TSN), and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WC).

Three players were unanimously selected by all four official selectors and all five unofficial selectors. They were running backs Tony Dorsett of Pittsburgh and Ricky Bell of USC and defensive end Ross Browner of Notre Dame.

The 1976 USC Trojans football team led all others with five players who received first-team All-American honors in 1976. In addition to Ricky Bell, the USC honorees were offensive tackle Marvin Powell, defensive end Dennis Thurman, defensive tackle Gary Jeter, and punter Glen Walker. The consensus national champion Pittsburgh Panthers team had two first-team honorees: Tony Dorsett and middle guard Al Romano.

1977 NFL Draft

The 1977 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held May 3–4, 1977, at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, New York. The league also held its first supplemental draft, which took place after the regular draft and before the regular season.

1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season

The 1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season continued the losing streak that encompassed the entire 1976 season, and extended it to 26 games, which as of 2017 remains a record in the National Football League. Fear of becoming the Buccaneers’ first victim provided motivation to opposing teams. It took nearly two seasons for the Buccaneers to achieve their first franchise victory, a 33–14 win over the New Orleans Saints in the second-to-last game of the year. The next week, the Bucs earned their first home victory, over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bell (surname)

Bell is a surname common in English speaking countries with several word-origins.

The surname is derived from the Middle English bell. This surname likely originated as an occupational name for a bell ringer or bell maker; or else from a topographic name for someone who lived by an actual bell, or by a house sign or inn sign. In other cases, the surname Bell is derived from the mediaeval personal name Bel. The masculine form of this personal name is derived from the Old French beu, bel ("handsome"); the feminine form of the name represents a short form of Isobel. In some cases, the surname originates from a nickname, or descriptive name, derived from the Old French bel ("beautiful", "fair"). In other cases, the surname Bell represents an English form of the Gaelic surname Mac Giolla Mhaoil ("son of the servant of the devotee"). In some cases, the surname is derived from placenames in Norway (Bell) and Germany (Bell in Rhineland; and possibly Belle, in Westphalia). The surname Bell is also sometimes an Anglicized form of the German Böhl or Böll.Early attested forms of the surname when of a patronymic origin include: Ailuuardus "filius Belli", in 1086; Ricardus "filius Bell", in 1279; and Osbertus "filius Belle", in 1297. Early attested forms of the surname, when originating from an occupational name include: Seaman "Belle", in 1181–1187; and Serlo "Belle", in 1190. An early attested form of the surname when originating from someone who lived near a sign of a bell is: John "atte Belle", in 1332. Early attested forms of the surname when originating from nickname include: Hugo "bel" in 1148; and Robertus "bellus", and Robert "le bel", both in 1186–1200. Today the surname Bell can be found in many parts of the world. It is the 67th most popular surname in the United States and the 36th most common surname in Scotland.

List of Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round draft picks

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1976 with the Seattle Seahawks.

Every April, each NFL franchise adds new players to its roster through a collegiate draft at the "NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting", more commonly known as the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in reverse order based on the previous season's record, with the team with the worst record having the first selection. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous season's Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion is the last team to select and the Super Bowl runner up selects right before them. This order is subject to teams trading away selections to other teams for different selections, players, cash or a combination thereof. Thus, it is common for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have multiple or no draft picks the first round due to trades.The Buccaneers have had the first overall pick on six occasions. Twice in 1978 and 1984, they traded it away. Three eventual Hall of Famers were selected by the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers' first selection as an NFL team was Lee Roy Selmon, a defensive lineman from Oklahoma. The team's most-recent first-round selections were Vernon Hargreaves, a cornerback from Florida in 2016 and O. J. Howard, a tight end from Alabama in 2017.

List of unanimous All-Americans in college football

The College Football All-America Team is an honorific college football all-star team compiled after each NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) season to recognize that season's most outstanding performers at their respective positions. There are several organizations that select their own All-America teams. Since 1924, the NCAA has designated selectors whose teams are used to determine "consensus" and "unanimous" All-Americans. Any player who is named to the first team by at least half the official selectors for a given season is recognized as being a consensus All-American. A player on the first team of every official selector is recognized as being a unanimous All-American. Since 2002, the five selectors designated by the NCAA for this purpose are the Associated Press (AP), the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF).Unanimous All-Americans are considered "elite, the cream of the crop from any particular season." Many are later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and many also go on to have successful professional football careers. From 1924 to 2000, 364 players were unanimous selections at least once. Thus, only a handful of players—if any—each season receive the honor. The first player to do so was Red Grange, star halfback for the Illinois Fighting Illini, who received first-team honors from all six major selectors in 1924.As of the end of 2018 Division I FBS season, Oklahoma has had the most unanimous All-America selections of any school, with 35, followed by Alabama and Notre Dame with 34 each. Eighty-four schools have had at least one unanimous All-America selection. The most recent All-America team, the 2018 team, consisted of eight unanimous selections.

Ricky Bell

Ricky Bell may refer to:

Ricky Bell (running back) (1955–1984), National Football League running back

Ricky Bell (cornerback) (1974–2011), Canadian Football League cornerback

Ricky Bell (singer) (born 1967), R&B singer for New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft history

This page is a list of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Draft selections. The first draft the Buccaneers participated in was 1976, in which they made defensive end Lee Roy Selmon of Oklahoma their first-ever selection.

USC Trojans football

The USC Trojans football program represent University of Southern California in the sport of American football. The Trojans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference (Pac-12).

Formed in 1888, the program has over 830 wins and claims 11 consensus Division I Football National Championships. USC has had 13 undefeated seasons including 8 perfect seasons, and 39 conference championships. USC has produced 7 Heisman Trophy winners, 81 first-team Consensus All-Americans, including 27 Unanimous selections, and 500 NFL draft picks, most all-time by any university, the Trojans also have had more players drafted in the first round than any other university, with 80 as of the 2017 draft. USC has had 34 members inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, including former players Matt Leinart, O.J. Simpson, and Ronnie Lott and former coaches John McKay and Howard Jones. The Trojans boast 12 inductees in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, the 2nd-most of any school, including Junior Seau, Bruce Matthews, Marcus Allen, and Ron Yary.

The Trojans have 52 bowl appearances, 39 of which are among the New Year's Six Bowls. With a record of 34–18, USC has the highest all-time post-season winning percentage of schools with 25 or more bowl appearances.

The Trojans play their home games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, located across the exposition Park Rose Garden from USC's University Park, Los Angeles campus. The stadium is also known as "The Grand Old Lady", having been built almost 100 years ago.

Overall (1975–1982)
Offensive (1983–present)
Defensive (1983–present)
Freshman (1999–2008)
Freshman Offensive (2009–present)
Freshman Defensive (2009–present)
Offense
Defense
Offense
Defense

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