Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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2022 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY MIKE SINGER Jay Bellamy was a de- fensive back for the Seat- tle Seahawks (1994-2000) a n d t h e New O rl ea n s Saints (2001-07). One doesn't get to spend that long in the NFL if he's not a darn good athlete. But when Blue & Gold Illustrated asked Bellamy if his son, Notre Dame class of 2022 defensive back signee Jayden Bel- lamy, has more upside than him, his answer was clear. "I'm not going to sit here and lie; he's a much better athlete than I was," the elder Bellamy said. When Bellamy enrolled at Notre Dame in January and was made avail- able to the media Feb. 4, BGI asked him for his thoughts on his father's com- ments, and he was surprised. "That's very hard to believe," Bellamy said when told what his father said. "Once me and him had a conversation with him about who was better when we were both 17. "He was talking about how far he was long jumping and dunking the basket- ball. I know he wouldn't admit that [I'm a better athlete] to my face." Bellamy isn't the biggest prospect. He didn't have gaudy stats on either side of the ball. But there's a reason that Clem- son, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and others were after him as a recruit. "Jayden is just a football player," his father said. "He's not just going out there and lining up. There's already something triggering his brain about what's going on, whether that's the wide receiver alignment, the formation the offense is in and things like that. "He's been learning all of this since he was 6 or 7 years old." Bellamy got off to a head start as a kid playing football from a young age with his father coaching him. One of Jay Bel- lamy's NFL teammates in Seattle, run- ning back Charlie Rogers, also was a key part of Jayden's tutelage as a boy. " I t wa s a c o n s ta n t grind," the elder Bellamy said. "He didn't like it at first, but once it started paying off, he was bought in." Versatility is the name of the game in football, and it's something that defines Bellamy. "I think he can do what- ever they ask him to do," Jay Bellamy said. "If you ask him to play corner, he'll put everything into his preparation. He would do the same at safety. He's a sponge when it comes to information; he takes ev- erything in, and it trans- lates onto the field." ✦ Like Father Like Son — Jayden Bellamy Is Wired To Play Football Bellamy — whose father, Jay, played in the NFL for 14 years — picked Notre Dame over Clemson, Penn State, Oklahoma, Ohio State and others. PHOTO BY MIKE SINGER JAYDEN BELLAMY CORNERBACK 5-11 · 170 BERGEN CATHOLIC H.S. NORTH HALEDON, N.J. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE consensus ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 446 46 4 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 53 6 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 60 8 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 45 6 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 41 5 STATISTICS • Notched 27 tackles, four interceptions and three passes broken up during his senior season. Added eight receptions for 157 yards and one touchdown at receiver. • Helped lead Bergen Catholic to a 12-0 record, a New Jersey Non-Public A State championship and a No. 3 ranking nationally per MaxPreps. • Caught eight passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns as a junior, plus recorded 14 tackles, one interception that he returned 30 yards for a touchdown and broke up two passes. NOTABLE • Born on March 11, 2003. • 2021 USA Today All-New Jersey first-team defense. • 2021 and 2020 Jersey Sports Zone Non-Public first-team defense. • 2020 All-North Jersey first- team defense. • Four-time all-conference selection (2018-21). • Father, Jay Bellamy, played safety in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks (1994-2000) and the New Orleans Saints (2001-07). • Teammate of Notre Dame quarterback signee Steve Angeli. • His sister, Brelynn, plays basketball for William & Mary. RECRUITMENT • Committed to Notre Dame on July 2, 2021. • Enrolled at Notre Dame in January 2022. • Picked Notre Dame over finalists Clemson, Penn State, Rutgers, Oklahoma and Ohio State. • Recruited by safeties coach Chris O'Leary and cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens. • Officially visited Notre Dame in June 2021 and December 2021. 2022 PROJECTION • Bellamy will probably redshirt in 2021, but he could be a dark horse for early playing time. THEY SAID IT Bergen Catholic head coach Vito Campanile: "I'd argue that he's the most productive player in the New Jersey Super Conference. He's a home run hit- ter with incredible speed. I think he's going to get better and better. "He's the most dynamic playmaker we have on our team. He plays safety for us because covers ground so well and is a hitter, but I personally think his best position is corner. He's so patient and never gets panicked. He's a really good football player." National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming: "He certainly has the length, long arms, and quick hands and feet that the college scouts love to see in a cover corner. He's quick in transition with loose hips and ice water in his veins. He dominates in press coverage, showing exceptional footwork and a very smooth backpedal. "I just like the way that Bellamy can turn and run with swift receivers, stay in their back pocket until the last second and then either deflect or intercept the pass." 50 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED

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