Seven student-athletes came together Wednesday afternoon for National Signing Day in the media center at Chamblee High School to declare their collegiate plans for the next four years.
The attention was centered on Davin Bellamy, a 6’5″ senior who announced after much anticipation that he would be making the 30-minute drive to Athens to play for the University of Georgia.
Bellamy was originally a commit for Florida State until the university changed members of its coaching staff. Prior to signing day, Bellamy’s interests were listed as Georgia, Oregon and Tennessee.
The defensive end had faced scrutiny earlier in the week after posting a picture of himself on Twitter taken during an official visit to Oregon, where Bellamy was seen with a group of people and a bong, an instrument normally used to smoke marijuana.
Nonetheless, all eyes in the room were on the four-star recruit, who was a triple threat on the field during the 2012 season playing tight end, defensive end, and outside linebacker helping the Chamblee Bulldogs finish with an 8-2 record and an appearance in the state playoffs.
“It is one of the toughest decisions to make asking an 18 year old kid to make a four year decision,” Bellamy said. “It made it a little easier going to my mom and she said ‘let go and let God,’ so I decided to stay in town.”
Sharing the stage with Bellamy Wednesday were six of his teammates, who also signed their National Letters of Intent:
OG Kameren Mack – Presbyterian College
WR/TE Desmond Noird – Florida A&M
FB/LB Dezmin Reed – Georgia Military College
OLB Khari Rosier – Presbyterian College
WR Quincy Watford – University of Charleston
OT/DE James Hanley – United States Air Force Academy
“I was assistant coach back in ’08-’09, so I saw these guys come up in 9th Grade and we knew we had something special,” Chamblee first year head coach Allen Johnson to the Atlanta Daily World. “To see these guys come in, do what it takes in the weight room, in the class room, and transfer that on to the field and help turn this program around, it’s an exciting thing.”
Many of the remaining six Bulldogs’ personal trials and tribulations toward their accolades were overshadowed by the hype of Bellamy’s announcement.
Early in the season, Dezmin Reed dealt with had to move out of his home due to family troubles, forcing him to catch the bus every day just to make it to 6 a.m. workouts.
Desmond Norid went from being a basketball player to a first year football player in one season, making the transition well enough to earn a college scholarship.
Khari Rosier came on the Chamblee team as a 16-year-old senior fighting his way to a starting position, while James Hanley defined the true meaning of “student-athlete,” obtaining a 3.8 grade point average, a 29 on the ACT, and turning down schools like Harvard, Princeton and Yale because he did not feel that they were the right academic fit.
“When it starts off, it’s just a whirlwind,” James said. “You have to prioritize well, you have to stay focused. During the eight hours in school you’re a student, after that you’re an athlete.
“When you get home, you’re a student again, gotta get the homework done. So I had a lot of late nights, but you have to stay focused and do everything with focus.”
Other notable metro Atlanta commitments included Norcross High running back Alvin Kamara signing with Alabama, North Gwinnett offensive tackle DeVondre Seymour to Georgia, and Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, in a surprise, heading to Ole Miss.