Davin Bellamy is a self-described “Georgia boy”, yet he’s been committed to the Florida State Seminoles since the summer and, until recently, there was little reason to believe he’d change his mind and go elsewhere. That is, until the coaching carousel opened up new doors for the two men most responsible for his commitment in the first place.
Both Dameyune Craig (who accepted a position at Auburn) and D.J. Eliot (who accepted the defensive coordinator position at Kentucky) accepted positions at new schools causing Bellamy to wonder if Florida State was still the best fit for him—especially since the new defensive line coach for the Seminoles (former Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt) never gave him a look while he was employed with the Tide.
“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.” (Jake Rowe, ugasports.com)
I guess it’s safe to say that Auburn won’t be getting a look.
Listen, stories like this are never isolated to one program, but Georgia has seemingly seen a fair number of their mishaps go public over the years and if Bellamy’s story is indeed truth and not simply the result of miscommunication gone horribly wrong, then it becomes a lot plainer why Georgia no longer felt the need to keep Garner around.
To be fair, though, Garner—again assuming Bellamy’s story is true—certainly wouldn’t be the first assistant to drop the ball on a prospect. It happens more often than not, I ‘m sure—especially when you’re recruiting in a state with such a rich talent pool. Unless you have protocols in place to monitor, offer, and cater to said talent, you will miss the bus on a number of them; and trust me when I tell you that Georgia has seen the tail lights of far too many Greyhounds over the last six or seven-years.
That said, the addition of Daryl Jones (on-campus recruiting director) to the staff last spring has worked out favorably for Georgia so far and has allowed the Bulldogs to find and offer talent a lot earlier in the process than they had been prior to said hire.
But, not to digress any further. Bellamy is looking at the Bulldogs with a lot more fervor than before, and it’s very clear that he is seriously considering his options where they’re concerned.
“Once Garner left, that kind of opened the door for them because me and my coaches love Coach (Todd) Grantham,” Bellamy said. “I could tell I was not a priority with Garner, but me and my coach love Grantham. Coach Grantham had a presentation on my visit during the summer that I have yet to see another college match. It showed me he took a lot of time to break down my film and see what I could do best in his scheme.
“I told my school to definitely try and get in touch with Georgia because my only problem with UGA has gone to Auburn, so that changes everything.”
The Bulldogs’ outside linebackers coach responded by letting Bellamy’s coach know that he is, in fact, wanted in Athens. (Kipp Adams, Dawgnation)
“Grantham told my coach really wants me as a pass-rusher after the spot opened up with Naim Mustafaa leaving,” Bellamy said. “So right now UGA is looking very intriguing.”
It still remains to be seen whether Georgia has made up enough ground to garner (no pun intended) a commitment from Bellamy, but it is safe to say he’s more interested now than he ever was before.