Record-Setting Bell Has His Eyes on the Next Level Bubba Kapral Executive Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEELING — Going out in style.
Elijah Bell has done just that, capping a tremendous college football career with one final virtuoso performance. The former Wheeling Park receiving star sparked North Carolina A&T to a resounding 64-44 rout of Alcorn State in the Celebration Bowl on Dec. 21. In that game, the 6-foot-2, 221-pound wideout hauled in two TD passes, adding to his already school-record total.
The Aggies ended the season with a 9-3 mark.
Bell concludes his A&T playing days owning the Aggies’ receiving record book.
“The Celebration Bowl is a blessing and a thing you dream about, especially for a kid from West Virginia where you don’t get to see cities like Atlanta or the Mercedes-Benz Dome. It’s been amazing to be able to go through that process three years in a row,” Bell said. “I hope I gave the kids in West Virginia hope that you can do anything you set your mind to. I wasn’t supposed to be here. I was counted out by many.”
The Celebration Bowl win capped his senior year in grand fashion, a campaign Bell said was quite enjoyable. He landed 55 passes for 858 yards and 8 TDs this fall. “This past season was probably the one in which I had the most fun. I was coming off a broken ankle my junior year when I was at an all-time high, so it set me back to reality and made me humble myself a bit,” he said. “I was dealing with a lot of things mentally, as it was my first injury ever from sports. It helped me realize who was really there for me.
“It also made me respect the game more, so this season was full of blessings and I lived every second of it. I was able to win another HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) national championship and break some conference and school records.”
Bell now has time to reflect on his collegiate time while preparing for the next stage in his grid career.
“My career has been nothing short of amazing, and not just because of my successful football career. I am so blessed to be able to attend the best HBCU school in the country and learn so much about my culture these last four years,” Bell said. “I’ve met some of the best people in my life — my teammates, my coaches and Aggie Nation is literally like my family to me. I don’t think I could have gotten that bond anywhere else in the country.
“I don’t know how my future plays out. What I do know is that whatever happens, my family is proud of me. I’ve brought some joy to my mother and dad. I couldn’t have asked for much more,” Bell said. “I am going to work harder than I ever have to make it to the next level, and I have a good shot. I just need one chance from one team and I’ll make sure they don’t regret it just like college. All I need is one opportunity, just one, and I will make it happen.