What if I told you there’s a running back entering the draft this year who runs a sub-4.3 40, rushed for over 3600 yards in his college career, and could be picked up as a late-round flyer in rookie drafts, or perhaps even off the waiver wire later on?
If any of that piqued your interest, LeVante Bellamy, a redshirt-senior running back from Western Michigan is a definite name to keep an eye on.
Bellamy is a little undersized at 5-9, 190 pounds, but as that 40-time suggests, he’s lightning fast, and has ability as a receiver to boot. But I’ll get into his film more a little later in this write-up.
The Indianapolis native has walked, or ran, a long road in college. He came to Western Michigan as a consensus three-star athlete, saw significant playing time as a true freshman, then had two campaigns cut short by season-ending injuries in 2016 and 2017. However, as a redshirt junior in 2018, Bellamy rebounded from two years of recovery to breakout with 1413 YFS and 7 touchdowns, including 30 receptions.
This performance earned Bellamy First-Team All-MAC honors.
Bellamy wasn’t done though, and he improved upon his breakout 2018 performance to close out the 2019 regular season as the #8 rusher in the nation with 1412 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. This includes eight 100-yard rushing games and a 5.7 YPC average along with an additional 14 receptions for 53 yards. These receiving numbers are down from 2018 but that comes down to usage and he has shown he can be an integral part of the passing game.
He has also performed well against Power-Five competition when given the opportunity. Aside from the 57-total yard, 2.9 YPC performance against Michigan State early in 2019, Bellamy played well against Michigan in 2018, rushing for 65 yards at a 5.9 YPC rate, and has terrorized Syracuse two years in a row, piling up a total of 285 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on 26 carries.
This dude is a burner. He was timed at 4.28 in the 40 in June of 2019, around the time he graduated from Western Michigan with a finance degree. Smart and athletic? That’s a dangerous combination.
Bellamy isn’t just fast, he’s quick and elusive. For a smaller back, he runs with some authority and is surprisingly good at running the ball between the tackles. Where he is particularly dangerous, though, is when he breaks it outside, where he has the speed to outrun angles and pickup large chunk gains down the sideline.
I also like that Bellamy is patient as a runner and, despite being primarily a one-cut-type back, uses an array of moves to evade defenders like his juke and stiff-arm. He’s good at making defenders miss in the open field and, man, is he fast. Speed kills, people.
I’m not saying I see an NFL feature back in LeVante Bellamy. That’s why I’m saying he’s a great late-round flyer in a dynasty league, not advising to nab him in the second and shock your leaguemates. That would be a really bad call.
What I am saying is that I see an upgraded version of Ty Johnson, and that this is a player who can produce as a change-of-pace back, and in spot duty should the starter in front of him go down with an injury.
On a dynasty roster, these players are all-important, and Bellamy is one of those hidden gems who’s flying far below the radar that others will wish they had known about.
You can find more information on Bellamy HERE.
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