Bell in the 2013 preseason.
|Date of birth:March 3, 1978|
|Place of birth: Winchester, Kentucky|
|High school: Winchester (KY) Clark|
|College: Eastern Kentucky|
|NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 6 / Pick: 213|
|Debuted in 2004 for the Miami Dolphins|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Yeremiah Neavius Bell (born March 3, 1978) is an American football safety who is currently a free agent in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Eastern Kentucky University, and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He has also played for the New York Jets.
Bell attended George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Kentucky, where he was a three-year letterman in football as a defensive back and wide receiver. He Also lettered in basketball as well as in baseball, starting as a senior with former Major League pitcher Matt Ginter.
Bell was not highly recruited while in high school, and without a full scholarship offer he began doing hard labor in a central Kentucky steel mill for $8 per hour.
After two years of working in the steel mill, Bell enrolled at nearby Eastern Kentucky University and attempted to walk-on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels football team. Bell made the team, but contemplated quitting during two-a-day practices his freshman year. Eventually Bell would remain on the team and excel in the defensive backfield. In his three-year college career Bell was a finalist for the 2001 Buck Buchanan Award as the Division 1-AA Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named a 2001 All-American, two time All-Ohio Valley Conference safety (2000,01), and was the OVC defensive player of the year (2001). Before his senior season in 2002 Bell injured his knee in a pick-up basketball game ending his college career.
Awards and honors
- Eastern Kentucky Defensive Back of the Year (1999)
- 2x All-Ohio Valley Conference (2000, 2001)
- Eastern Kentucky Defensive Most Valuable Player (2000)
- Associated Press All-American (2001)
- Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year (2001)
- Named to the Eastern Kentucky University All-Century team as a Defensive Back (2009)
Bell was drafted in the sixth round by the Miami Dolphins and signed to the team's practice squad.
Bell played in 13 games recording 10 tackles in primarily a special teams and reserve roll before suffering a broken leg late in the season.
In his first injury free NFL season, Bell played in all 16 games registered 21 tackles, three sacks, an interception, four passes defensed, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. He finished second on the squad with 14 stops on special teams, where he also recovered a fumble. The initial interception of his NFL career came vs. New England Patriots (11/13) when he picked off a Tom Brady pass in the fourth quarter, leading to a Dolphins touchdown six plays later.
Bell earned a starting spot in Dolphins secondary. In his first season as a starter Bell has recorded 62 tackles, 2 sacks, and 11 passes defended. Dolphins defensive standout Jason Taylor said of Bell, "The guy just makes plays, no matter if it's special teams, defense or whatever. He always makes plays for us."
In 2007 Bell was a restricted free agent and he signed a tender that he received from the Dolphins. Bell was the starter at strong safety but suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the season opener on September 9 that ended his season. He was placed on injured reserve on September 11. Bell finished the season with 5 tackles.
After the 2007 season Bell became an unrestricted free agent but he did not receive much interest from other teams because of his torn Achilles tendon. The Dolphins re-signed him to a one-year, 1.4 million dollar contract on March 3. In 2008, Bell became a force to be reckoned with. He finished the season with 120 tackles, 1 sack, and three forced fumbles, & while he did not have any picks that year, his return from injury proved to be the stabilizing force in the secondary.
Miami's leading tackler in 2008, and 2009, Bell signed a four-year, $20 million contract with the Dolphins on the eve of free agency. The deal included $10 million in guaranteed money. He finished the season with 114 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 3 interceptions. In 2009 Bell received a Pro Bowl selection after Antoine Bethea and the Indianapolis Colts went to the Super Bowl.
In 2010, Bell started all 16 games, recording 101 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles with one recovery and one interception.
After starting all games and recording 107 total tackles for the 2011 season, Bell was released after the season on March 19, 2012.
New York Jets
Bell has a daughter, Yamia, born July 23, 2000, and a son, Brayden, born December 15, 2003.
- Vrentas, Jenny (18 May 2012). "Jets sign safety Yeremiah Bell". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Drew Stanton, Yeremiah Bell among handful of Arizona Cardinals additions