Ring the Bell for the Argonauts


D’Anthony Bell, Cleveland Browns

Wren Deputy, Staff Writer

His name may not have been called in the NFL Draft, but that hasn’t stopped D’Anthony Bell from fulfilling his dreams. The 6’1, 211 lbs safety has suited up into a Cleveland Browns uniform as the NFL season begins. Bell joined the Browns as a free agent and was able to showcase his abilities this summer.

As August 30th rolled around, many University of West Florida students and West Florida football fans awaited the finalization of the Browns 53-man roster. The Argonauts’ own D’Anthony Bell, a Georgia native, had made it past the last of the team cuts.

Bell played for a variety of schools before landing at the University of West Florida. Those schools in order: Albany State, Iowa Central Community College, and Butler Community College, Bell’s most notable performance being his 15 starts with 77 tackles with 41 solos at West Florida.

As the University of West Florida’s football program grows, more accomplishments and recognitions are received by alumni players, many of those coming from the West Florida 2019 Division 2 National Championship team, of which Bell was a member.

After speaking with Kee Whetzel, a West Florida linebacker and previous teammate of Bell, he was able to give an inside insight of receiving the news. Whetzel stated that when they [the team] were informed of the news, “We all stood and cheered and clapped as if he was right there…we love how he’s leading the way and putting West Florida on the map.” He also mentioned how Bell’s success has had a personal effect on his own motivation. “Knowing that I also want to go pro after this season seeing someone else do it first makes it achievable in my eyes, it is super motivating and makes me want to go even harder so I really am one of the next Argos to make it,” Whetzel said.

One thing that sets the University of West Florida apart from many other teams is the energy that the Argos have among their players. When speaking to Maverick Wolfley, a West Florida tight end, he was asked if he would attribute a part of the team’s success and the individual player’s success to the brotherhood and energy that is held between teammates. Wolfley stated, “The bond between us is all very important and drives us to want to be better for each other.” The West Florida motto “Arete,” meaning “for virtue or excellence,” is proof of the drive behind the West Florida team, of which Bell was a key piece.

As the NFL season is set to kick off on Sep. 8th, many Argo fans will be waiting to see Bell set foot on the field in a Cleveland Browns uniform for the first time in the regular season. A recent social media post from Bell warms the hearts of the West Florida community as he shows the “Argonauts,” “Arete,” and green and blue stickers that adorn the back of his Browns practice helmet.