Coach says he's never seen anyone like Mike Bellamy

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Binky Waldrop has been the head coach of the [Punta Gorda, FL) Charlotte Tarpons since 1999, and he has seen a lot of football players come through his program. And he has coached against literally thousands of other players.

And there has never been one like Mike Bellamy.

Bellamy is the 5-star running back that committed to the Clemson Tigers, and Waldrop said he wishes Bellamy all the luck in the world.


“I just wish I had him another year,” Waldrop told TigerNet Thursday night. "He just has that rare combination of speed and power. And no question, he is the best.”

Waldrop sounds like a proud daddy when discussing the records Bellamy has set – including becoming the first in touchdowns scored in the state of Florida (110 trips to the end zone in his career, breaking the records set by Emmitt Smith and Tyrone Moss), and fifth in all-time rushing yardage (well over 7,000 yards).

Waldrop said Bellamy is much like former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller in that once he hits the hole, he’s pretty much got a chance to take it to the house.

“That was our goal – once we got him to the linebacker, it was all over with,” Waldrop said. “He could take it against anybody. He does a great job with reading his blocks. He has outstanding vision. He sometimes makes a wrong cut, like anybody does. You know when he does it, but you don’t correct him. He sees what he sees. Generally, he is right most of the time. Other than watching film, that is not something you can really teach a kid like Mike.”

Bellamy came to Charlotte as a raw runner, and Waldrop said it was toward the end of Bellamy’s freshmen season when he and the other coaches first began to realize what they had on their hands.

“Towards the end of his freshmen year, he really came on,” Waldrop said. “Then, he was just kind of a runner – you know, all speed. As he went into his sophomore year, then you could see him begin to get it. Then he started getting those cuts and making people miss.

“And he learned when to just put his pads down and run somebody over. He is not a real thick kid, but at that speed, he just runs people over. He has got that incredible speed. You sometimes see kids out on the track that are fast, and when you put football pads on them, they don’t seem to have that speed. He does – he doesn’t lose it.”

Waldrop said that Bellamy’s stats are indeed amazing, and they could have been even more impressive had he played four quarters each week.

“Early in the year, we had several games where the starters played a half or just a little into the third quarter,” he said. “In one game, he had seven carries for over 200 yards, and they were all on long touchdown runs.”

Waldrop said he hopes to make it up to see Bellamy play in Death Valley – and might even come up for an official visit with a member of his family.

Waldrop’s parents hail from South Carolina – his father actually owns property in the Greenville area and went to Clemson games in his youth – while his mother comes from a long line of Gamecock fans that hail from the Columbia area.

Waldrop’s son Cody is the center for the Tarpons, and will probably begin receiving college offers before too long.

“He has been around this long enough, so he knows what to expect,” Waldrop said. “He had a great junior year. He probably needs to grow another inch, but he should be pretty-heavily recruited. He is also a deep snapper. If he ever got offered at Clemson, it is definitely a place he would look at. Coach [Brad] Scott has seen him play several times, and says he likes him.”

Bellamy's Under Armour Combine Video

Bellamy lights up Venice

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