An old coaching connection helped Arlington, Texas quarterback Russell Bellomy land his third scholarship offer, as the Boilermakers extended an invite Tuesday.
Bellomy, a junior at Martin High School, now has offers from Purdue, along with Florida International and Michigan State, but that list would seemingly be on the verge of expanding. The 6-foot-3, 178-pounder, listed as a dual-threat QB by Rivals.com, is garnering interest from all over the country, including Oregon, Florida, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Illinois Northwestern, Minnesota, USF and recently LSU, among many, many others.
The Boilermakers sent out their early offer, perhaps an indication that Bellomy is on the top of their QB wish list, thanks in part to a relationship between offensive coordinator Gary Nord and Martin defensive coordinator Ronnie Jones. The later was on Nord's staff when he was the head coach at UTEP from 2000-2003.
"Coach Jones put in some good words for me," Bellomy said, "and then we (Purdue and I) started talking. I've talked to Coach Nord and Coach (Cornell) Jackson on the phone several times.
"It's an honor to get an offer from anywhere, but Purdue is especially nice. You know Drew Brees came from there, and all the quarterbacks that they've produced over the years (is impressive)."
Purdue is intriguing enough to likely draw an unofficial visit. Already, Bellomy has been to Kansas State for a junior day, plus he visited Northwestern and Illinois during his spring break earlier this month. He's been to Houston too, but is no longer in contact with the Cougars after their landed a verbal from Bram Kohlhausen, likely the only QB they'll sign.
Bellomy says he'd like to get up to West Lafayette soon, either for an unofficial visit or during an off-season camp, to get a feel for the Boilermakers.
"Most definitely, my family and them are trying to figure out a date to come up there," said Bellomy, who is looking into possibilities for visiting Michigan State as well, "but I'm definitely going to make it to Purdue.
With offers, and interest, from all over the continental U.S., Bellomy says school location isn't going to figure into his decision-making much; he's willing to go where ever football and school takes him.
"Distance is not a problem and location doesn't matter to me," he said. "I don't prefer Florida (the state) over Michigan. I don't prefer the Northeast over the Midwest; I don't prefer anything over anything. It really doesn't matter to me. I can deal with the heat and I can deal with the cold."
Bellomy does know, however, that he'd like to not drag his recruitment into his senior season at Martin.
"I want to see what offers I get and kind of compare them," he said "I want to visit some more colleges and get a feel for what I'm looking at, but I want to commit by the end of the spring or beginning of the summer. I want to get it out of the way before next season, so I don't have to worry about it when I should be worrying about a state title."
During his junior season at Martin, Bellomy passed for 1,546 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions, while completing 121-of-202 (59.9 percent) of his passes; he also rushed for 438 yards on 102 attempts for six more scores.
"I'm very intelligent, but also very scrappy," he said when asked to describe his style. "I do anything to win. I take some sacrifices, I'll go out and block some. I don't just stand back in the pocket and analyze the defense; I take it to the defense. I push the ball against them, I run it and throw it.
"I don't want to be that stereotypical quarterback who sits back there in the pocket.
I'm up for anything, I just want to win and love to play the game."
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