ATHENS, Ga.—Jeremy Pruitt declaring one of his defenders might be the best player amongst his position group is one thing, the Georgia defensive coordinator claiming the player might be the best of all the outside linebackers is completely another.
This week, Pruitt was asked about the progress of Davin Bellamy, a sophomore from Chamblee, Ga. Bellamy was redshirted as a true freshman in 2013, saw limited action last season, then suffered a shoulder injury, but has looked impressive in fall camp.
Still, as part of an outside linebacking corps which includes senior Jordan Jenkins, junior Leonard Floyd, and sophomore Lorenzo Carter—all three of whom, remarkably, earned preseason all-conference recognition on the recently-released preseason Coaches All-SEC teams—surely Bellamy must be a notch below the tremendous trio.
“No, I wouldn’t say he’s a notch below any of them,” Pruitt said. “He might be the best one.”
Following today’s shortened, 60-minute workout by the Bulldogs at the Woodruff Practice Fields, Bellamy was asked about the high praise he received
“I do appreciate the compliment because I have been working really hard,” Bellamy said. “I’m glad Coach Pruitt has noticed.”
And, Pruitt has noticed indeed.
“[Davin] works really hard out there; he’s physical,” Pruitt said. “He likes the game, and he can play every down.” Pruitt added one key element Bellamy can improve upon is being more consistent.
Bellamy missed the first two games of last season after being arrested for DUI. Playing in 10 consecutive games as a reserve, he recorded 17 tackles, including two for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Bellamy was held out of the season-end Belk Bowl versus Louisville and then underwent shoulder surgery, forcing him to miss spring practice.
Bellamy entered fall camp listed as the No. 2 “Jack” outside linebacker behind Jenkins. Floyd and Carter were listed as co-number ones at the other outside linebacking spot, “Sam.” The two positions give Georgia arguably the country’s best set of outside linebackers—a close-knit group where each member has something special to offer.
“Outside [the outside linebacking group] people might not be aware of what we all can do; however, we all know what each other can do,” Bellamy stressed. “We all bring something different to the table. Some [of us] are more explosive, while others are more athletic, and can jump higher.”
Although Pruitt has noticed what Bellamy brings to the table, and his compliment was certainly appreciated, ultimately, “it wasn’t a big deal,” Bellamy said with all due respect for the defensive coordinator. “Any given day, someone else [besides myself] can be the best outside linebacker; someone else can go off.”
But, for now, that “someone else,” who is going off, and might be the best of the group is the surprising Bellamy, and he’s getting noticed.