Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 Season Countdown: #78 Russell Bellomy

Russell Bellomy
Name: Russell Bellomy
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Arlington (TX) Martin
Position: Quarterback
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #8
Last year: I ranked Bellomy #70 and said he would be the third string quarterback. He missed the entire regular season recovering from an ACL tear and was Shane Morris's backup in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl but did not play.

Bellomy has had a tough couple years. Two years ago he played very poorly in limited time as Denard Robinson's backup before being supplanted by Devin Gardner. After that major blow to his confidence, he tore his ACL in the spring of 2013 and spent the whole year rehabbing and on the bench. He was again limited this spring, but more for precauationary reasons. Meanwhile, freshman Shane Morris took to the job quicker than Bellomy had, and Michigan recruited an Under Armour All-American in the 2014 class. The hill is only getting steeper.

For the upcoming 2014 season, Bellomy looks like option #3 at best. With Gardner entrenched as the starter and Morris playing fairly well in the bowl game, Bellomy might get some garbage time if any games turn into blowouts. With somewhat limited arm talent, the guy with the higher ceiling is freshman Wilton Speight, who might find himself lower on the depth chart only because the coaches can utilize a redshirt if he stays off the field. The last time Michigan used three different starting quarterbacks in one season was 30 years ago, when Jim Harbaugh (5), Chris Zurbrugg (5), and Russell Rein (2) each earned starts.

Prediction: Third-string quarterback


  1. I have a soft spot in my heart for Bellomy. The stars just won't seem to align to give this kid a break. He went from BMOC at his high school to bench-warmer at Michigan with little hope of breaking out.

    I wonder if there's a chance he could do a position change? Failing that, is a transfer likely?

    1. Pretty much anyone who becomes a bench-warmer in college was BMOC in high school. And his high school has actually produced some other very good players in recent years, so it's not like he was the only star that Arlington Martin had seen in decades.

      I do not think Bellomy could play another position, and I don't see him sticking around for 2015. My guess is that he transfers or graduates and moves along before then. With Morris clearly ahead of him and Speight looking like a superior option, I think he'll be #3 at best once again next year, with Malzone also coming in to compete.

  2. Thus far it has been hard to distinguish your 78th ranked player from the 91st in terms of importance. Roughly at what number should we start to expect to see contributors? Even if it is mostly on special teams.

    1. 22 players x 2 deep = 44 ... plus a small handful for special teams ... I'm guessing around #50 or so?

    2. It depends on your definition of contributor. This questions seems to come up every year, and all I can say is that there are over 100 players on a football team, so the majority of them won't contribute much on game days.

  3. I think saying Morris played well in that bowl game is being extremely generous. Maybe "for a freshman QB" qualifier needed.

    1. It's tough to imagine a great deal better than 24/38 for 196 yards, 0 picks, 1 interception, and 4 carries for 43 yards for a true freshman in his first extended playing time. I don't really think a qualifier is needed. We all know the context.

    2. @Thunder

      You used a qualifier in the comment above, immediately before you said you didn't need to.

      The numbers and results are bad. 5.2 YPA and a QB Rating below 60 is very bad. Michigan didn't score a TD until the last garbage time drive of the game. They moved the ball on the first two drives, but KSU quickly realized the limitations of Morris and how Borges chose to deploy him and Michigan was totally shut down the rest of the game. That is bad.

      Borges and the OL deserve blame, sure, but Gardner had 10 YPA and 5 TDs the previous game with the same cast.

      Let's put it another way. AS A FRESHMAN, Denard Robinson had better passing stats than Morris, breaking 6 YPA. And Denard was absolutely terrible at passing his freshman year. Even as an upperclassmen, when he was dramatically better, he was described as "not a good QB" on this blog -- yet he managed 7.9 and 8.4 YPA through his final 2 seasons.

      The gimmicky gamelplan really says all you need to know about Morris last year - the coaches had absolutely no confidence in him. Nothing we saw in bowl game showed us they were wrong.

      Anyone who thinks Morris had a good performance is going on "looks", letting their personal biases drive their evaluation.

      He did OK for a freshman. He exceeded my expectations by a little bit. If you want to see signs of optimism for the rest of his career - they are there in a way that they were not for a guy like Bellomy. Chad Henne he wasn't though.

    3. This really isn't worth a long discussion. I said he "played well." You're arguing that I should have said "played well for a freshman."

      We all know he was a freshman, and we all know that he didn't throw for 500 yards and 6 touchdowns. This isn't a post where I dissect every snap he took in the BWW Bowl.

      If you disagree, fine. It's really not worth arguing it further.