Cobb County

Kennesaw State player reflects on what it means to be first player drafted out of school

KENNESAW, Ga. — A former Kennesaw State University football player recently made history, becoming the first player from the school to be selected in the NFL Draft.

Defensive lineman Travis Bell was drafted in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears with the No. 218 pick.

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Bell spent five seasons with the Owls and finished last season with 30 tackles.

Channel 2 sports director Zach Klein caught up with Bell and Kennesaw Head Football Coach Brian Bohannon on Tuesday to discuss what this means for the program.

“The story to that point is way bigger than the draft. How he got there, not just on the field, but in the classroom is phenomenal,” Bohannon. “It’s a historic moment in the history of Kennesaw State football in our program to have our first guy drafted. To have it be Travis Bell makes it even better.”


Bell said he was overcome with emotion when his cell phone rang and the Bears were on the other end of the line.

“Man, I’ve never seen my Momma cry like that... never seen her shed a tear, so that was a big moment for me and my family,” Bell said.

Bell told Klein that with that first NFL paycheck, he is going to help his mom out with some of the bills.

He said every time he steps onto the field, he plays for her and everyone who believed in him from day one.

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