Two more Illinois State football players were honored by the Missouri Valley Football Conference Tuesday.
According to an official ISU release, senior linebacker B.J. Bello and sophomore wide receiver Spencer Schnell made big contributions in their first seasons with the Redbird football program, and for their efforts, each was named to the MVFC All-Newcomer Team.
The Redbird duo is among 25 student-ath¬letes named to this year’s team, which is voted on by league head coaches, sports information directors and a media panel. Illinois State has had at least two selections to the all-newcomer squad in seven of the last eight seasons under head coach Brock Spack.
Bello played in all 12 games in 2016 as a fifth-year transfer from Illinois. The New Lenox, Illinois, native led all ISU defenders with 9.5 tackles-for-loss and six sacks, with two forced fumbles on the year. Bello finished the regular season ranked No. 7 in the MVFC in sacks and tied at No. 9 in sacks. He was named MVFC Newcomer of the Week after the win over Missouri State on Nov. 12, when he tallied eight tackles, with a half tackle-for-loss and two pass breakups to help the Redbirds punch their ticket to the FCS playoffs.
Schnell played in all 12 games this season as a wide receiver and punt returner, after sitting out last season in residence at ISU after transferring from Ohio. The Elkhart, Indiana, native ranks No. 2 in the MVFC in punt return average (10.4) and tallied a career-long 37-yard return against Valparaiso in the season opener. Schnell also ranked second on the team with 59 receptions and was third with 479 yards receiving with one touchdown on the season.