DUNEDIN — Heralded running back Adaris Bellamy of Dunedin, who signed with USF but will attend Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia this fall, left for his new school Friday.
But before Bellamy departed, he addressed Dunedin's 2009 squad. It happened last week in the team's locker room.
"He asked if he could talk to the team, to clear the air," Dunedin coach Mark Everett said. "He admitted to them he was a better player as a junior than as a senior. He worked harder. He told them he was lazy last year. He told the kids to work harder than he did and to listen to his coaches because he could have been better and the team could have been better."
According to Everett, it got emotional at times.
"A few of the coaches had tears in their eyes," he said.
Bellamy still hopes to become a Bull, and sooner rather than later. His plan is to stay one year at Fork Union then enroll at USF in 2010 with a full five years of eligibility.
ccc's petrocelli likely to turn heads: Clearwater Central Catholic senior Alec Petrocelli fits the definition of "sleeper" to a T. He's big, strong, agile and talented, but thus far doesn't have any scholarship offers. That is something coach Mike Jalazo expects could change by the time the Marauders have played a few games.
"He's got a very high upside," Jalazo said. "He's got an unbelievable motor and is very tenacious. That's something you can't teach."
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Petrocelli plays defensive end and linebacker, but because he hasn't filled out yet his future position is unknown. With additional weight, it wouldn't be a stretch to see him on the offensive line in college.
Several Division I programs are showing interest, but Jalazo thinks Duke and Rutgers are the most serious — and most likely to offer. Petrocelli has camped at Rutgers twice and drew praise from the staff each time.
The message from most schools to Petrocelli is the same.
"They want to see video from the first couple of games," Jalazo said.
four green devils sign on the dotted line: St. Petersburg had four football players from the Class of 2009 sign to play in college.
Joe Gasper, a linebacker, is going to St. Norbert's College, a Division III school in De Pere, Wis. Amare Hart, a defensive back, and Willie Culver, a defensive tackle, are headed to College of the Redwoods, a junior college in Eureka, Calif. Marques Sumbry, a defensive back, is off to Quincy (Ill.) University, a Division II school.
Staff writer Bob Putnam contributed to this report.