By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- When freshman running back Mike Bellamy showed off his explosiveness in Saturday’s game versus Troy by running 75 yards for the touchdown, Clemson fans everywhere couldn’t help but compare Bellamy to C.J. Spiller, a former Tiger who put Clemson, SC on the map during his time at the university.
Bellamy had a chance to speak to members of the media after practice on Tuesday and shared with them what his first touchdown as a Tiger felt like, how he is plans to improve his game and see the field more, and what Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris said to him after his score on Saturday.
When did Bellamy realize during his 75 yard rushing touchdown that he would end up scoring?
“As soon as Andre (Ellington) made that final block, I saw the green grass, the open field and knew that I could score,” Bellamy said. “If Andre didn’t make that great block, or if the offensive line wasn’t doing their job, the score wouldn’t have happened so I give them a lot of the credit for helping make my first career touchdown happen.”
Although his touchdown run was a beautiful one that gave Clemson fans hope that Bellamy could possibly be the next C.J. and help lead the team to their next ACC Championship, he was very close to making a critical error on the play.
“I didn’t wait long enough to drop the ball in the end zone, in a bigger game that would have probably been called back,” Bellamy said. “But Coach Swinney and Coach Morris talked to me about it afterwards; they’re training me now so that something like that doesn’t happen again.”
Other than Bellamy’s big run and kickoff returns, Bellamy didn’t get to carry the ball much in Saturday’s contest. Was he surprised by this?
“I thought I was going to get the ball a little bit more,” Bellamy said. “But everything happens for a reason. There are older guys who are also very talented backs in front of me that need to get carries too and I’ve got 4 more years in this program. Right now the coaches are calling me their 12th man on offense, I’m happy to go wherever they need me to play. My coaches know best and I just have to continue to trust them.”
It was difficult for Bellamy on Saturday not playing running back in the first three quarters of the game; however he knows that football is a team sport and he’ll get his time to shine at some point.
“I just need to continue to practice hard and learn my plays and I’ll see the field,” Bellamy said. “I’m picking up the offense well, the hardest part for me has to be learning the signals because there are different signals for different plays and sometimes a play can have several signals.”
Another thing Bellamy has been focusing on in order to become more of a contributor to Clemson’s offense is gaining weight.
“I’ve been working out a lot trying to gain more muscle,” Bellamy said. “I’m eating around 6 times per day, trying to put on 10-15 pounds. Right now I feel like I can run in between tackles, but I know if I put on some more weight it will be easier.”
According to Bellamy, Andre Ellington has taken him under his wing both on and off the practice fields acting as an older brother to the freshman.
“Andre has always been my leader,” Bellamy said. “We hang out outside of practice and during practice. I think we’re building an older-younger brother relationship. He teaches me so much both on and off the field.”
What are Bellamy’s personal goals for his freshman season?
“Mainly my goal for this season is to listen to the coaches and take what they teach me into game situations,” Bellamy said. “I also want to start making a name for myself and I know that by listening to my coaches I’ll be successful on the field.”