Le’Veon Bell’s standout season on the football field has led to him earning Michigan State’s top athletic honor.
The former Spartan running back was named the George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year, while golfer Caroline Powers and track and field star Beth Rohl were named the co-female athletes of the year Wednesday. Powers earned the award for the third time.
Bell, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in April and recently agreed to a four-year deal with the team, put together one of the best rushing seasons in school history last fall while earning All-American and All-Big Ten recognition. He ran for 1,793 yards, the second-highest single-season total in school history. His 137.9 yards per game led the Big Ten and ranked third nationally.
Bell was one of four players nationally to have three 200-plus yard rushing games last fall. He ran for a career-high 266 yards while helping MSU become bowl eligible with a 26-10 win over Minnesota in the Spartans’ regular-season finale in November.
Powers helped the MSU women’s golf team to a ninth-place finish – the best in school history – at last month’s NCAA Championships. She was named the Big Ten golfer of the year, first team All-Big Ten and an honorable mention All-American by the National Golf Coaches Association. She owns the lowest career average in school history (74.26).
Rohl will be competing at the NCAA Championships for the fourth straight year this week. She owns school records in the weight throw (73 feet 2 1/2 inches), hammer throw (206-3) and discus (186-6). Earlier this year, Rohl was named the Big Ten indoor field athlete of the year. Rohl recently won her fifth career Big Ten title in the discus at last month’s outdoor championships.
MSU senior swimmer Jacob Jarzen and Powers each received the Big Ten Medal of Honor, which goes to a senior student athlete at each school for outstanding athletic and academic achievement.
MSU track and field senior Kevin Jackson earned the Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award.