Four Bulldogs earn spot on All-Commonwealth Team

BARBOURVILLE — Union College quarterback Alex Bell, defensive lineman Justice Bishop, wide receiver Bradley Elkins and offensive lineman Kermit Gibbs were named to the Community Trust Bank 2018 Collegiate All-Commonwealth Team by the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This is the second year in a row Elkins and Gibbs were named to the All-Commonwealth Team, and this marks the third year Union has placed at least three on the team.

In addition, Bell is one of seven recipients of the 2018 Blanton Collier Leading with Character Award.

The Blanton Collier Leading with Character Award is a preseason recognition award for Mid-South Conference (MSC) football student-athletes attending a Kentucky college or university. This is the second year for this annual award.

The Blanton Collier Leading with Character award represents the best college football players that the state of Kentucky has to offer. These players’ dedication to the game has contributed significantly to their teams.

Each individual selected to receive this award is a role model for their fellow teammates as well as everyone else they come in contact with. These players exemplify trust, respect, excellence, accountability, caring, confidence and optimism.

Bell, an All-MSC Appalachian Divison First-Team selection, threw for 2,521 yards and 26 touchdowns – both of which rank third best in program history. He saved his best game for last when he posted a career-high 372 passing yards and five touchdowns in a 56-29 win over Point. Bell also ran for 405 yards and four touchdowns.

Bishop led Union in tackles for a loss (9.5 for 75 yards) and sacks (5.0). He amassed 68 total tackles to go along with one interception and one fumble recovery. Bishop recorded two double-digit tackle games with a season-high 11 coming against Cumberlands on Sept. 30.

Elkins ended 2017 second on the team in receptions with 27 as he tallied 251 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The wide receiver hauled in a season-high six passes for 60 yards and a score against Point on Nov. 11. Elkins ranks 15th in program history with 80 career receptions.

Gibbs, also an All-MSC Appalachian Divison First-Team honoree, anchored the Bulldogs’ offensive line. He helped lead the way for the team to post a program record 477.5 yards per game. Union racked up 2,011 rushing yards and 2,764 passing yards with Gibbs leading the way. The 350 points Union tallied ranks third most in program history.

The Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame hosts the banquet and ceremony on June 22 in Lexington.

Union finished the 2017 season 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the MSC Appalachian Division. The Bulldogs open the 2018 campaign on Aug. 23 at home versus Cincinnati Christian. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.