T’Sharvan Bell was not able to earn a starting spot for the 2012 Auburn football team, but when he takes the field for the Tigers Saturday against Clemson he knows it’s incredible he is still able to play.
During the annual game as “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” with Georgia last season, the senior went down an injury. Leaving the game and not returning, he was later seen with a large boot on his foot and on crutches. Over the next couple of days, it was released Bell would miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
The injury was worse than most expected or thought. Having surgery to repair his ACL, MCL and PCL, Bell missed all of spring practice on his road to recovery. Returning over the summer, he said in early August he is 100 percent.
Despite not starting, Bell will have a chance to play significantly, especially in the nickel formation. Most well-known for his sack of Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy in 2010, which knocked the QB unconscious and leaving him with a concussion, on the final defensive drive of the Tigers’ 28-27 comeback win, he will have a chance to make more plays for his highlight reel this fall.
In 2011, Bell started the first 10 games of the season before the injury occurred. He finished seventh on team with 45 tackles, including 35 solo stops, and led team with seven pass breakups and second with two interceptions. Bell recorded two tackles for loss and one sack, as well.
Bell will have a critical role in Saturday’s game despite the suspension of star Clemson receiver of Sammy Watkins. Experienced quarterback Tahj Boyd still has several targets, including DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins finished the season as the No. 2 receiver on last season’s ACC Championship team behind Watkins.