Notre Dame has added a key piece to the future of its secondary, with defensive back Jayden Bellamy announcing his commitment to the Fighting Irish today.
The 5-11, 175-pounder from Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic announced a top six of Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State and Rutgers on May 6. He took official visits to Notre Dame and Penn State in June, and the Fighting Irish were victorious in the recruitment
“Academics played a big part, and I bonded the best with Coach [Mike] Mickens, Coach [Marcus] Freeman and the whole staff,” Bellamy told BlueandGold.com about choosing the Irish. “When I was with them during the visit, we were making a lot of jokes, and ever since they offered me, they went after me hard. That played a part, too.”
Bellamy is listed by Rivals a cornerback, but he could end up anywhere in the Notre Dame secondary.
“As of right now, they see me as a corner, but they can move me around,” Bellamy said. “They see me playing nickel, corner and an overall versatile player.
“I’m very versatile. When it comes to playing cornerback, what defines me is my patience and footwork. I can tackle, too. As a safety last season, I had to be a lot more physical.”
Bellamy called Mickens to inform him of his decision June 23 and announced his pledge July 2.
“At first, I called Coach Mickens, and Coach [Chris] O’Leary was with him,” Bellamy recalled. “After that, Coach Freeman called. They were surprised and happy. They were all really excited. Coach Freeman is happy about me going there and was talking to my parents about how good of a player I am and how big the academic part is.”
Bellamy is Notre Dame’s second defensive back commitment of the 2022 class, joining Corona (Calif.) Centennial cornerback Jaden Mickey. The Irish are expected to take at least two more defensive backs.
Rivals lists Bellamy with a 5.7 recruit ranking, the highest designation for a three-star recruit. He is rated as the No. 9 prospect in New Jersey and the No. 59 cornerback in the country by Rivals.
Bellamy is high school teammates with Irish quarterback commit Steve Angeli in the 2022 class. In a shortened season in 2020, Angeli and Bellamy led the Crusaders to a 5-1 record and the No. 1 ranking in the state per MaxPreps.
“That’s going to be really great,” Bellamy said of playing with Angeli. “He had been trying to get me to go to Notre Dame. He’s really excited.”
He caught eight passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns from Angeli. On the defensive side of the ball, he posted 14 tackles, one interception that he returned 30 yards for a touchdown and broke up two passes.
His father, Jay Bellamy, played safety in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks (1994-2000) and the New Orleans Saints (2001-07). He totaled 392 tackles, 24 interceptions and one defensive score. The elder Bellamy played his collegiate ball at Rutgers.
Bellamy was named to the 2020 Jersey Sports Zone Non-Public first-team defense. NorthJersey.com listed Bellamy on its 2020 All-North Jersey first-team defense.
Per Rivals, Bellamy held offers from Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Rutgers, Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin and others.
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