Clemson running back Bellamy improves standing this spring
CLEMSON — Perhaps the Clemson player who has most improved his standing this spring is running back Mike Bellamy.
The rising sophomore entered the spring coming off an indefinite suspension due to a violation of an undisclosed team rule prior to the ACC title game in December. The incident was not the first time Bellamy had been a distraction in the fall.
More missteps could have jeopardized his standing with the program, but the former five-star prospect has made good on his second chance so far this spring, according to coach Dabo Swinney. Clemson wraps up spring practice with the spring game at 4 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3) at Memorial Stadium.
“The biggest thing is he has come to work every day,” Swinney said. “He’s been focused at practice every day. He’s been engaged and he’s kept his mouth shut. I’m proud of the progress he’s made.”
Bellamy’s continued maturation is important for Clemson since the program is thin at running back and the Florida native has rare speed and acceleration. Bellamy scored on a 75-yard touchdown catch during Wednesday’s practice.
“He just caught a little swing pass and left everybody,” Swinney said.
Bellamy has also improved as an inside runner as he’s strengthened his 5-10, 190-pound frame. He still needs to improve his understanding of blocking assignments.
Clemson reserve quarterback Cole Stoudt said he and incoming quarterback Chad Kelly have put their public feud behind them. The two quarterbacks — who will compete for No. 2 quarterback duties this summer — hurled insults at each other on Twitter earlier this year.
“That was a mistake on both parts,” Stoudt said. “We said things we shouldn’t have said. Chad is a teammate now. He’s one of us. He’s going to be here in June. He’s family. We are going to be competing. It’s going to be good. When (Kelly visited earlier this year), we kind of laughed about it. I’m glad he has a little edge. I want to make him better. I want him to make me better.”
To determine the rosters for the spring game, Swinney had coaches create two offenses and two defenses as evenly as possible this week. Assistants Marion Hobby and Charlie Harbison will serve as the head coaches Saturday and each will select an offense and a defense in a four-pick draft Thursday.
Stoudt attributed his early spring struggles to flaws in his passing mechanics, which he improved over the spring break working with a former NFL quarterback, his father, Cliff Stoudt … Swinney said Clemson will be “vanilla” on Saturday due to the game being televised.
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