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Two UC football Patriots earn pre-season All-American honors

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. - Over the past 5 seasons the University of the Cumberlands (UC) football Patriots has earned a lot of success on and off the field. The Patriots have garnered four Mid-South (MSC) conference championships, two Allstate Good Works team members, and a plethora of Mid-South and NAIA post season honors and accomplishments. Now, the Patriots add 2 more awards to what is becoming a historic era in Cumberlands football history.

USA College Football, Inc. released its 20th annual Pre-Season All American list and free safety and return specialist Brendan Kelly (Lexington, KY) and offensive lineman Colby Hitchcock (Loganville, GA) have earned the right to be named to the team. Head coach John Bland was not surprised by the results commenting, “Those boys are well-deserving and have worked extremely hard and it is an honor for them and for our program.”

Both players have been a staple for the Patriots since they first arrived on campus. Brendan Kelly has started for the Patriots since his transfer from the University of Kentucky. During his time, he has proven to be versatile, playing his first year as a wide receiver for the Patriots, then being moved to a more comfortable position at free safety. Kelly’s biggest threat though may be on special teams as he has been labeled one of the best kick and punt returners in the country. In 2010, he was chosen as a Victory Sports 2nd team All-American, while also being honored on the Mid-South Conference First Team. Brendan was also chosen this past season to be on the Mid-South Conference First team again for the second straight season. There is little doubt that Kelly will have another great season for the Patriots.

Hitchcock is coming off the best season he has had since being at Cumberlands. This past season, he was awarded a Mid-South First team member honor for his exceptional play on the offensive line for the Patriots. Also, Hitchcock has become the leader of the offensive line and his play speaks for itself. After coming off such a great junior year, he looks to continue to succeed and have an even better 2012 campaign.

This is another tremendous honor for the Patriots and just shows just how far the program has come since the Bland era started. Bland believes this proves how far these awards go to successful teams. “Obviously the voters looked at us and knew that. It is something for us to be very proud of.”

A great honor for the Patriots as the voters came from sports information directors, coaches, certified player agents, pro scouts, national media reporters, and the staff of the USA College Football News. Look for these two players and the Patriots to have a big season as they kick off the season September 1st against Belhaven at 1:30 PM at James H Taylor, II Stadium.

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