February 2, 2011

SIGNING DAY: Bellomy has pro-style potential

When Arlington High School defensive coordinator Rick Keith prepared a game plan for Martin's Russell Bellomy two years ago, he was looking to slow down a running quarterback, but Bellomy proved much more than that …

"His junior year, we went into that game thinking if we could take away their running game, him included, we would stop them, but he proved he was a passer," Keith said. "That's why I think he can succeed up there [in Ann Arbor] in a pro-style offense - he was much more effective standing in the pocket and deliver the football than we expected."

The 6-3, 178-pound three-star recruit had just 15 yards rushing on 10 carries against Arlington, doing far more damage through the air as he completed 17 of 22 passes (77.3 percent) for 254 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-20 win.

That was Bellomy's best game in 2009 - he also completed 9 of 13 attempts (69.2 percent) for 201 yards and two scores in a 58-7 victory over Mansfield - and might just be the signature game of his career.

This past fall, Bellomy never hit the 200-yard mark - he threw for just 88 yards and rushed for 46 yards in a 62-35 win over Arlington - but with Oklahoma-bound tailback Danzel Williams rushing for 1,669 yards and 30 scores, the Warriors didn't need Bellomy to win games with his arm. In fact, he attempted more than 20 passes in just three of 13 contests.

What Bellomy would give Martin was whatever coach Bob Wager needed him to give. He threw for 1,584 yards with 15 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He rushed for 805 yards and nine scores, including a pair of triple-digit performances. He also had three receptions for 59 yards and a score.

"He's a true leader," Keith said. "He controls the game for them and runs that offense the way you want your quarterback running it.

"His arm speed is deceptively fast. You watch him on film and you don't think the ball comes out quite as quickly as it does in person. He has the arm strength to make all the throws - the deep out, the seam - and he's obviously a run threat as well."

Bellomy originally committed to Purdue back in June but was recruited hard by Michigan's new staff once Brady Hoke and Co. came on board Jan. 12. He visited Ann Arbor Jan. 24-25 and committed to the Wolverines on the second day of his visit.

"He's just a complete quarterback and I'm really happy for him that he'll be going to Michigan," Keith said. "He's more that type of quarterback - a big school quarterback - and he shouldn't have had to settle for anything less."

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