Chamblee defensive end Davin Bellamy has seen his stock rise in his senior season.
He went from being a recruit that few knew about at the end of his junior year, to 30-plus offers and a commitment to Florida State in August.
After remaining solid to the Seminoles throughout his senior season, despite trips to multiple schools, Bellamy is now ready to give some other teams a chance.
Much of that willingness to open things up has to do with the unsettled nature of the FSU staff.
"At first, with my visits, I had set all of my visits before coaches had left," said Bellamy. "I was kind of planning on taking fun visits that I was 100 percent sure on. With (D.J.) Eliot and (Dameyune) Craig leaving, those were the main two guys that really brought me into that program. I knew with Coach Eliot being a defensive line coach that I really fit into his system. With the new coaches coming in, the new defensive coordinator (Jeremy Pruitt) from Alabama, he didn't offer me at Alabama.
"Then with Tennessee being the school that pulled the trigger on my first, it got me thinking about whether or not they really want there (at FSU). So I kind of changed my visits around. They became more like visits for business instead of fun so I took that Virginia Tech visit out and put Georgia in there for January 25."
One school that has been on Bellamy's radar since last season is Georgia, and the Bulldogs might be making a move for the 3-star pass rusher.
Once the Bulldogs lost their only commitment at the outside linebacker/defensive end position in Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta) and the Florida State staff started experiencing turnover, Georgia got back into the picture by setting up that official visit later this month.
"Really, I just let my mentor, coach Rice, take care of that," said Bellamy of his change from an official to Virginia Tech to one to UGA. "With the Virginia Tech trip, I wasn't going to be able to drive up there which means that my family wouldn't be able to see the campus because they would have to fly me out. That kind of took it away from them because I can't really make a decision if my mom can't see the campus.
"Basically, in reality, if it got down to Georgia and Virginia Tech, it would be Georgia so my coach decided that we should take that visit. He talked to Coach (Chris) Wilson over the weekend then he talked to Coach (Todd) Grantham Monday, and he set up the visit."
Another reason Bellamy wants to give the Bulldogs another shot is because he feels that his skill sit aligns well with what Georgia does defensively.
"I think that the scheme that they (UGA) use with the outside linebacker, the Jarvis Jones-type position, that is everything I've been doing in high school," he said. "I'm that guy on the defense who can put their hand in the dirt and also play in coverage. My best asset is definitely rushing the passer so from day one me and my coach, Coach Rice, we knew that the outside linebacker position at Georgia was the best fit, personnel wise, for my skill set. That's because I've been doing because I've been in tenth grade. I just think that scheme and that outside linebacker position fits me perfectly. A lot of schools would just have my hand in the dirt, and I wouldn't be able to use all of my athletic ability."
While the fact that FSU's coaching staff is in a state of flux and UGA's scheme are putting the Bulldogs in position to make a run at Bellamy, the biggest reason Georgia is back in the mix has to do with a coach that is no longer on the staff.
"There is a story that a lot of people don't know. Before I got my first offer anywhere. Georgia invited me down. Well, Coach (Rodney) Garner invited me down on a Saturday for an unofficial visit," Bellamy said. "So, we go down there and there is no one there. None of the people in the building even know that I am supposed to be there. Garner tried to say that we had the dates mixed up, but my coach had message saved in his phone where we were supposed to come down that day.
"So, basically, Coach Rice was saying how he wasted his gas coming down there and if I was a priority to Georgia, they would have made sure that wouldn't have happened. If it was Robert Nkemdiche or Reuben Foster taking that visit we were pretty sure that wouldn't have happened. Even after that we didn't get an apology from Garner for getting the dates mixed up. Then it goes months and months and months without hearing from them, even after the incident and not even an apology. Then they come back in the picture after my twenty fifth offer. My coach felt like the only reason they offered me was because I had offers from everyone else. So, with him being gone, I love everything about Georgia with the scheme. Coach Grantham probably put together the best presentation I have seen in my whole recruitment. He probably did the best presentation. Mark Richt is a great guy. My mom loves Mark Richt. So I guess it was the only problem with Georgia. Georgia was on me first, and in my heart early. Then what happened last March kind of messed it up. My mom feels like it is close to home, so really the only problem was with Garner and he kind of spoiled it early."
As Bellamy takes these official visits, he is on a mission to make sure he is finding the right fit.
"At first it would have been for fun, but now it more about being personal visit," he said when asked what he would be looking for as he takes his official visits.
"I'm trying to find early playing time or an opportunity to get on the field. I don't want to get stuck in a situation where there are a lot of numbers at my position where it is hard to get on the field. That's one thing I know at UGA, with Jarvis Jones, and where their only outside linebacker and pass rushing commit (Naim Mustafaa) recently decommitting, I feel like the numbers play in my favor at UGA," he said. "That is one of the main reasons I chose FSU was because of the numbers at my position and I knew I could come in right away. Basically, I'm looking for all of the things that I was looking for like playing time, how they plan on using me, of course an education, and building a relationship with all the coaches."
With National Signing Day quickly approaching on February 6, Bellamy understands that he has a finite amount of time with which to make a decision.
Despite that understanding, however, he also knows it is impossible to put a timeline on such a tough choice right now.
"Right now, with things being so hectic with Coach Craig just leaving last weekend and me needing to building a relationship with all the coaches, I can't really give a time frame," Bellamy said. "Ever since I said I was open, there have been a lot coaches to start to come at me, and my coach told me that he was getting 20 plus coaches calling a night so we had to narrow it down. I really can't give a time because it is so hectic. I have a month to figure where I am going."
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