Burrow and Bell joined running back Giovani Bernard, linebacker Josh Bynes, wide receiver A.J. Green, punter Kevin Huber and safety Shawn Williams as the 2020 Bengals team captains. Bynes is also a new member of the team, like Burrow and Bell.
The Bengals selected Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft following a historical season at LSU, where he won both the Heisman Trophy and a national championship.
After completing 57.8 percent of his passes for 2,894 yards and 16 touchdowns as a fourth-year junior for the Tigers, Burrow’s production skyrocketed to 76.3-percent passing, 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns (an NCAA record) as a fifth-year senior.
Burrow had transferred to LSU after partaking in a non-conclusive quarterback competition with Dwayne Haskins in the spring of 2018.
Bell came to Columbus as a five-star prospect in 2013, ranked as the No. 2 safety and No. 26 overall recruit in the nation. The Rossville (Ga.) Ridgeland product recorded 19 tackles (16 solo), one tackle for loss and one interception as a reserve during his freshman season in 2013.
As a sophomore, Bell became a starter and thrived in the back end of the Buckeye secondary alongside fellow safety Tyvis Powell. Bell recorded 91 tackles (56 solo), two TFL, one sack, one fumble recovery, six passes defended and six interceptions while helping lead Ohio State to victory in the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship.
As a junior in 2015, Bell posted 65 stops (43 solo), one TFL, nine passes defended, two interceptions, one fumble recovery, and two defensive touchdowns, earning first-team All-Big Ten and first-team All-American accolades.
The New Orleans Saints selected Bell in the second round (No. 61 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. After beginning his pro career as a backup safety, Bell earned a starting spot at nickelback, concluding his first season with 87 tackles (61 solo), two TFL, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one sack and four passes defended.
In his second year in the league, Bell posted 83 tackles (62 solo) with four TFL, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two passes defended in 2017.
As a third-year player in 2018, Bell set a career high with 89 tackles (63 solo), in addition to four TFL, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and three passes defended.
Last season, Bell missed three games due to injury yet still tied his career high with 89 tackles (66 solo), along with four TFL, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, including one scoop and score, five passes defended and one interception.
Following a solid season in 2019, New Orleans decided to part ways with Bell, allowing him to test free agency. The former Ohio State standout signed with the Bengals on March 25.
After a 2-14 season that landed Cincinnati with the No. 1 pick, the Bengals are hopeful the leadership of a couple of former Buckeyes will help turn around their franchise.
For four free issues of the print edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, no card required, sign up at the link here: http://www.buckeyesports.com/subscribe-4issue-trial/