Elijah Rings Another Opponent's Bell, Student Perspective
By Kelvin Patrick
Special to ncataggies.com
GREENSBORO (October 7, 2017) -- North Carolina A&T sophomore wide receiver Elijah Bell had a career day with nine receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown as the Aggies continued their undefeated streak with a 44-3 blowout victory against the Delaware State Hornets Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout homecoming crowd at Aggie Stadium.
Bell won the rookie of the year for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2016. There was a lot of expectations for Bell this upcoming season, and he is not disappointing. Bell has 31 receptions for 522 yards and eight touchdowns, and has been a huge contributor to why the Aggies are 6-0. His 6-foot-1, 221-pound frame has played a major factor.
“I’m a physical receiver, and I utilize my size very well,” Bell said. “Also, my teammates are a threat as well, and they allow me to get open because the attention is not only on me.”
Quarterback Lamar Raynard’s improved play has also benefited Bell. Raynard and Bell have built quite the connection this season. Bell has a little less than half of Raynard’s 17 touchdown passes this year. N.C. A&T has only played two home games thus far. Despite that, Bell has taken advantage of playing at Aggie Stadium. Four of his eight touchdowns have come at home. N.C. A&T goes to Tallahassee, Fla., next week to play the Florida A&M Rattlers.
When asked if his mindset is different when playing at home, Bell responded: “Absolutely not. We have the same mindset every game, take it one game at a time and play our game.”
That is supported by the fact Bell was more dangerous on the road as a freshman during his rookie of the year campaign when 473 of 631 receiving yards happened away from Aggie Stadium. Bell’s career 66 receptions for 1,153 yards and 18 touchdowns definitely puts Bell on the opposing team's scouting report.
But he sees playing well as way to get his other teammates open like Malik Wilson, Khris Gardin, Trey Scott, Jaquil Capel and others. “When they double me on the deep ball, it allows me to be a decoy to get the rest of my teammates open,” said Bell.
Bell is not only exceeding expectations as a sophomore, he is exceeding expectations, period. He was not highly recruited out of Wheeling Park High School in West Virginia, but now he is highly respected by the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision world.