Bobby Bell, college and pro football Hall of Famer and all around badass, is scheduled to graduate on May 14, 56 years after leaving the U to begin a professional career.
Bell left Minnesota thirteen credits shy of graduating. With help from his faculty adviser, professor Connie Magnuson, Bell will graduate with a degree from the College of Education and Human Development in Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies. Bell's degree is the culmination of a promise to his father, a man with little formal education who wanted his children to go to, and graduate from, college.
For my money, I would argue that Bell is behind on Bronko Nagurski as the greatest football player Minnesota ever produced. Bell is both a college and professional champion. He starred on the 1960 national championship team as well as the 1962 Rose Bowl winning team. Bell was a two-time All American, and won the Outland Trophy in 1962 as well as finishing third in the Heisman race.
In his professional career, Bell was a six time AFL All Star, a three time Pro Bowler, and was part of the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl winning team. In 1983, Bell was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. He is considered to be one of the most gifted linebackers of all-time. At 6'4", 230 pounds, he possessed great size, speed, intelligence, and tackling ability, which made him a nightmare to defend against.
Congratulations to Bobby Bell and all other Gophers, both athletes and non-athletes, who are set to graduate this year.