Growing up playing two sports, Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee) was unsure of which direction he should take. Until about two months ago, the All-State basketball player felt equally good about his chances of succeeding on the court or the gridiron. Now the decision will be easier for Bellamy.
“I love basketball, but football was my first love and getting 26 offers really helped me get over it,” Bellamy said.
He might have Rodney Garner to thank for that. Back in October, the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator for Georgia stopped by to take in the Chamblee game against Miller Grove. Garner left at halftime, but not before giving Bellamy’s head coach a quick couple of words that would light a fire under the junior prospect.
“Coach Garner was the first coach to come check me out, but he left at halftime and told my coach he could tell I was a big-time athlete, but I was too weak to play defensive end,” Bellamy said. “I did not take that negatively because I was fresh off the basketball court. I was close to 210 pounds then and bench-pressing 185 pounds. Knowing I was too weak definitely made me work harder, because I had never had a coaching staff at Chamblee before that pushed me to work out. I wanted to prove to Georgia I was strong enough to go to their school so I hit the weights hard."
Now 228 pounds and benching 265 pounds, Bellamy was evaluated again by Georgia last weekend. A few days later his coach got the call that the Bulldogs wanted to offer Bellamy a scholarship, his 21st to date. Bellamy admits that even though schools were offering in droves, he did not expect Georgia to be among them.
“Since Georgia was the first to recruit me, I was kind of surprised when they became offer No. 21 because I did not know if it would come at all at that point,” Bellamy said. “It was very exciting though, because I always wanted a top-tier school that was away from home but not too far from my family.”
Bellamy thinks a lot of the in-state Bulldogs.
“Georgia is an A1 program that brings in elite recruits and top prospects every year, plus they play the closest thing to NFL football, which is in the SEC,” Bellamy said. “It is the hometown team, they have great fans and I watched them growing up, so I plan to take them into serious consideration.”
The other big program in Georgia was the first to offer Bellamy, and for that reason Georgia Tech is one of a few schools that stand out at the moment.
“Georgia Tech, South Carolina and Vanderbilt made me a priority, so I plan to return the favor,” Bellamy said. “I sent them my tape on Friday, and a few days later they all offered. But no one really stands out because the offers come in too fast to dwell on one or two.”
Bellamy plans on taking a lot of visits this summer, and he is hoping a close friend joins him on his trips.
“I plan to compare schools with AJ (Arshad Jackson) from Lovejoy and see which program can fit both of us,” Bellamy said. “Our families have been close for about seven years and we plan to try and commit to the same school. I would say there is about an 85 percent chance of it happening.”
In nine games played last year, Bellamy made 60 tackles, 31 solo, five sacks and ten tackles for loss. He feels he compares well with another coveted prospect in the Peach State, even more so were he not at a school that with three coaching changes in the past three years.
“I have watched a couple of Robert Nkemdiche’s games and I think he is a phenomenal player,” Bellamy said. “The only difference really is that he came up through the Grayson program and was pushed for four years, and I arrived at Chamblee when the program was going downhill. I am doing with just raw talent most of the same things he is doing. I can play wide receiver, tight end, outside linebacker and defensive end, so I definitely think I can play in space better than him. I feel like if I went to Stephenson, MLK or Tucker, we would be neck and neck in the rankings.”