We all knew it was coming, right? Davin Bellamy, the now former Florida State commitment, has re-opened his recruitment and is strongly considering two SEC schools as his final destination: Georgia and Tennessee.
The Volunteers have come on strong over the last few weeks pitching playing time and ample opportunity to potential impact players like Bellamy and Auburn commit Carl Lawson; it’s a pitch that was working well and came across as sincere to Bellamy. And when he took his official visit to Knoxville on January 18, Bellamy came away impressed with what he saw and heard.
“Loved it, man,” said Bellamy, who has been committed to Florida State for more than five months. “I fell in love with the program and school. (New Tennessee) coach (Butch) Jones is a neat guy, and their coaching staff is unbelievable. They’re going to be doing some special things in the future.
“It surpassed my expectations a lot. I really enjoyed myself. If I was to choose today, it would be between Florida State and Tennessee. Man, I really enjoyed it.”
The 6-foot-4, 234-pound Bellamy said the Vols “wowed” him, something that hasn’t happened to him much throughout the recruiting process, and Tennessee now has positioned itself as a strong contender heading into his visit to Georgia next weekend.
“I’ve been going on these recruiting visits for a long time, and I usually don’t get wowed a lot, because I’m kind of used to it,” he said. “So when a school can wow you, that definitely leaves an impact on you. (Ryan Callahan, 247Vols)
That said, his visit to Athens the following weekend netted a similar reaction; it was a reaction that was so positive, in fact, many began to pencil him in as a strong Georgia Bulldog lean.
However, after his de-commitment from FSU late yesterday evening, a recent visit from the Tennessee coaching staff, and some time to rethink it all, Bellamy appears to be back where he started: uncertain and extremely contemplative about where he should go come National Signing Day (NSD).
Even so, he maintains that the Bulldogs are his leader—for the moment—and a lot of his decision will hinge on what Todd Grantham plans to do next season; the rumors of him bolting to the NFL continue to swirl—and neither he, nor the university have done anything to squash them—leaving Bellamy in a position of simply trusting what the Georgia coaches have to say; a position that makes things very difficult for him where making a final decision is concerned.
“Nothing has changed, and Georgia is still in the lead,” Bellamy said. “The only thing holding me back from going to Georgia is trust. The more we converse, the more trust we build. There are rumors that Todd Grantham is going to leave after signing day [emphasis added], and if that happened, that would be devastating.”
That possibility has led to Bellamy and the Bulldogs’ coaching staff agreeing on somewhat of a verbal pact, which includes a special code word of sorts.
“We have this little slogan we use for the trust we are building,” Bellamy said. “It is ‘longevity 17,’ and that is basically me saying if Grantham is there and I can wear my No. 17 next year, then there is a strong chance I will be a Dawg. Now Coach Grantham says it every time we talk.” (Kipp Adams, Dawgnation)
In the end, it still appears that Bellamy will land with the Bulldogs—no matter how “wowed” he was by the Volunteers–you just get the sense that he loved the environment in Athens and is starting to appreciate the idea of staying home to play his college ball.
That said, you have to wonder if the Grantham rumors are starting to work against the Bulldogs at this point. His name is still out there for potential NFL jobs and, if he was using the rumors as a recruiting tactic (as some message boards and analysts have alluded to), then it might be time to stop—particularly if there is no truth to them.
Even so, with NSD less than a week away, there will be plenty of mud to sling in the case of prospects like Davin Bellamy and others so long as Grantham continues to say nothing; hopefully it doesn’t effect too much in the end, but you just never know.
We’ll all just have to wait and see.