Athlete Travon Bellamy out of Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt had an impressive showing at the Elite College Combine earlier this month and earned his first offer the next day. What did the 6-foot-0, 185-pounder think about the day and his performance as well as his first offer?
"It was really exciting and I learned a lot," he said. "I love the competition and I felt like it was an NFL combine because at every drill and test, college coaches were inches away. I really enjoyed myself. I didn't do that well in my shuttle, I slipped and got a 4.37, I did 4.58-seconds in the 40. I wasn't happy and I know I could have done better, but I was happy with the one-on-ones and how I competed there.
"I think I did great in the one-on-one drills, I went at wide receiver and defensive back. At wide receiver I had two touchdowns and at defensive back I had one interception and I did great overall. I went up against the offensive MVP Vidal Hazelton and I stayed with him pretty good and I tipped it, but he still caught it. The other guys I went up against were three tight ends who were 6-foot-5 or taller and not one of them caught a pass. I played them aggressive and physical and showed they can't rough me up."
What did Bellamy show scouts about his abilities at the combine?
"I think I showed scouts my two-way ability and my ability to defend any type of player from a 5-foot-9 receiver to a 6-foot-5 tight end," he said. "I showed my ability to catch the ball and my intensity and fight. Also that I'm a true competitor and that I play with a lot of heart."
Bellamy learned a lot, especially what he needs to work on in the future.
"As far a wide receiver, I need to work on my route running," he said. "As a defensive back there's not a lot I think I need to work on. You always need to improve on your backpedal and hips, but I don't have a specific weakness at defensive back. You can also always improve on speed and strength."
After the combine, Bellamy got his first offer from Illinois.
"I guess since it's my first offer I'm excited," he said. "I got the first one out of the way and hopefully many more will come in. Illinois just signed my teammate Will Davis and it would be exciting to play with my old teammate. I have to research their school more though. I know they just got Ron Zook and I met him at a banquet and he seemed like a down-to-earth and fun coach to be around."
Meanwhile, Bellamy's current top five is Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia and UCLA.
"I pretty much don't have any favorites right now," he said. "UCLA is somewhere far out and they have a nice environment there. Georgia and North Carolina are down south and they are in football country. Virginia Tech's defensive backs coaches are nice and they sent two or three defensive backs to the NFL this year. They also have a nice program and I like their campus and facilities a lot. I like Georgia Tech because I have family that lives in Atlanta."
During the evaluation period, Bellamy has received visits from Georgia Tech, Duke, Larry Johnson from Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Syracuse, Boston College, North Carolina State and more. Did any of the visits stand out?
"Probably North Carolina's coach stood out to me because he's a real down-to-earth guy and I can tell we're building a nice relationship," he said. "I've started talking to UCLA and they are cool."
One school that Bellamy has started to receive interest from is Miami.
"That's a big-time school in a big-time conference," he said. "They have great football and competition and the school is an NFL school, you can go straight to the NFL from there."
This summer the prospect plans to take in camps at Georgia and UCLA as well as a visit to North Carolina.
As for a decision, Bellamy confirms that he'll probably wait until close to Signing Day.
"I'm looking to take all my visits and then weigh all my options," he said. "I'll probably wait until later or after the season."
Bellamy is also preparing for next year.
"I only played six games last year and I had decent numbers and I'm just looking to dominate this year and be the best," he said. "My number one goal is to win a state championship, after that I'd like to make all-metro, all-county, all-league and all-state. I just thank God for the opportunity to play the game I love and I continue to work hard and pray to the man upstairs to be the best I can."
Despite playing in just six games, Bellamy was named all-county and all-league as he recorded 72 tackles, 7 interceptions, five passes deflected and one kickoff return for a touchdown.