RB Bellamy to sign with Youngstown State
Former Dunedin running back Adaris Bellamy, who signed with USF in 2009 but was told last month there was no longer a scholarship available to him with the Bulls, will sign today with Division I-AA Youngstown State, his high school coach said Wednesday.
"He could play at a higher level, but I think he'll be a star there," Mark Everett said. "He's excited. He just told me his goal is to win the Walter Payton Award (given to the top player in I-AA football)."
Bellamy, who spent last fall at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia and was able to raise his grades and test scores to meet NCAA requirements, had hoped to enroll at USF as was the plan when he went to Fork Union last summer. But in the transition from Jim Leavitt to Skip Holtz, USF ran out of scholarships for running backs. Bellamy was rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com last year.
When news broke that he wasn't going to USF, he drew immediate interest from Cincinnati, but Everett said he wasn't able to make a scheduled visit to the Bearcats because he hadn't signed his release from USF. Everett spoke with Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones last week and again Monday, but said Bellamy decided not to wait any longer and sign with the Penguins, who signed a high school teammate of his this month in linebacker Ali Cheaib.
Youngstown State has several USF ties -- its head coach, Eric Wolford, was an assistant on USF's original staff in 1996, and the assistant who recruited Bellamy is defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz, who worked on Leavitt's staff at USF from 1996-2005.