Brandon Bell emerged as a bigger contributor towards the end of his true freshman season and should have an opportunity to become a significant contributor from day one as the 2014 season commences. One of four New Jersey prep standouts to matriculate to Penn State in 2013, Bell appeared in 10 games and made his first career start at "Linebacker U." in the big win at No. 14 Wisconsin. Bell's increased role and productivity earned him a spot on the BTN.com All-Freshman team. The talented and physical player was among 12 true freshmen to make their debut in 2013 and was one of four true freshmen to make their first start. He made 24 tackles (14 solo), had one forced fumble and also caused one of the key interceptions of the season during his true freshman campaign. With the shift of Mike Hull to middle linebacker, Bell should be a primary challenger for a starting assignment at one of the OLB positions. He has a grade-point average above 3.00 and is a potential Academic All-Big Ten candidate this fall. Bell is among 12 returning Nittany Lions from New Jersey.
2013 - Freshman Season
Bell was named to the BTN.com All-Freshman team after appearing in 10 games and making one start at linebacker. He was one of 12 true freshmen to make their debut and was among four true freshmen to make their first start during the season. Bell tallied 24 tackles (14 solo), had one forced fumble and also caused one of the key interceptions of the season. He also finished tied for third on the team with six special teams tackles. Bell made his collegiate debut against Eastern Michigan and had two tackles against the Eagles. Bell had a strong effort at No. 4 Ohio State, making five tackles (two solo). He made one tackle at Minnesota and followed that up with three stops against Purdue. Bell turned in his best performance of the season with a career-high six tackles and forced his first career fumble against Nebraska. While stopping Cornhusker quarterback Ron Kellogg III on a third-and-goal from the one-yard line, Bell stripped the ball, which was recovered by the Huskers and held them to only a field goal. In the next game, Bell made his first career start and equaled his season-high with six tackles (four solo) in the season-ending victory at No. 14 Wisconsin. He also made the hit on Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave on C.J. Olaniyan's interception in the third quarter. Olaniyan returned the pick 33 yards deep into Badger territory to set up a field goal in the 31-24 victory.
Bell was a highly productive two-way player at Oakcrest High School, playing for head coach Chuck Smith. A standout at linebacker and running back for the Falcons, Bell accumulated 309 tackles and more than 1,000 yards rushing in his career. Bell was selected first-team All-Cape Atlantic League, first-team All-Atlantic City Press and second-team All-South Jersey as a senior. A four-year letterman, he recorded 112 tackles, two sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception during his senior season. His junior year featured 117 stops, 22 tackles for loss and three sacks, while gaining 429 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Nine sacks highlighted a 68-tackle season as a sophomore and he added 455 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Bell was rated a three-star prospect coming out of high school by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Full name is Brandon JaMarr Bell. He is the son of Eric and Monica Bell. He has one brother, Keenan, and one sister, Erica. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball. He plans to major in communications and is interested in pursuing a career in public relations, advertising or film. Born January 9, 1995 in Mays Landing, N.J.