Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 23 Jayden Bellamy, early-enrolled freshman cornerback

Listed measurements: 5-foot-11, 170 pounds.
2022-23 year, eligibility: An early-enrolled freshman, Bellamy has all four seasons of eligibility remaining.
Depth Chart: Depending how thorough the official depth chart is this season — as in, does it include the nickel back or not — Bellamy may be listed, but in reality, he will not be within the two-deep. Should starting nickel back Tariq Bracy suffer a long-term injury, Notre Dame would more likely turn to early-enrolled freshman Jaden Mickey or one of the number of safeties  — perhaps junior Ramon Henderson — before it inserted Bellamy into a week-in, week-out coverage role this season.
Recruiting: A consensus three-star prospect and the No. 46 cornerback in the class, per rivals.com, Bellamy ignored much of the Northeast in choosing the Irish. While his recruitment focused on Notre Dame and Penn State, he was also offered scholarships by Ohio State, Florida State and Clemson.

QUOTES
Do not assume Bellamy remains at cornerback throughout his career. Part of why he chose Notre Dame is that the Irish were open about seeing him fit anywhere in the secondary.

“When they were looking at my film, they could see me playing nickel and corner and safety,” Bellamy said in February. “That was the biggest part, being able to move around the ball. Being around the ball is fun, so that was the biggest part.”

Regardless of his long-term fit, it sounds like even Bellamy recognizes it may not result in much playing time in 2022.

“The place I’d like to develop is probably my strength right now, but I feel like as I go on, it’ll be my footwork,” he said. “I feel like the receivers are getting way better and are coming out with new routes and all of that. I feel like footwork and strength will be a big part.”

NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS

WHAT WAS SAID WHEN BELLAMY SIGNED IN DECEMBER
“You can’t teach speed, and Bellamy has it. Not much else needs to be said. …

“Bellamy’s speed creates interesting possibilities. It alone could make him a punt or kick returner possibility in 2022. More likely, he takes some time to develop, but do not rule it out.”

2022 OUTLOOK
Bellamy’s speed may find him a role on special teams coverage units, but working in the secondary seems unlikely. Presume Bellamy is entrenched at nickel back for this fall. Before he would take over, Notre Dame would turn to Bracy, Mickey, Henderson and even fifth-year safety Houston Griffith, not to mention perhaps sophomore cornerbacks Ryan Barnes, Chance Tucker and Philip Riley.

Rattling off vague options will be a common theme at cornerback and nickel back for the season, where six players have all four seasons of eligibility remaining. To put that another way, six players are largely unknowns.

Of those six, Bellamy may be the slightest.

DOWN THE ROAD
Add some heft to that speedy frame, though, and then Bellamy will look like an ideal cornerback. A full year in a collegiate strength and conditioning program should have Bellamy on that track by next spring. Furthermore, he clearly knows that needs to be an emphasis.

Speed cannot be taught. It is a truism for a reason. At some point, that should be enough to get Bellamy on the field for the Irish secondary.

Bracy is in his final season; it is hard to imagine Notre Dame keeping both junior Clarence Lewis and senior Cam Hart into their final seasons of eligibility in 2024. The Irish safeties are about to begin rapid turnover with Griffith and fifth-year DJ Brown out of eligibility and Northwestern transfer Brandon Joseph possibly a one-and-done player when it comes to seasons in a gold helmet.

Opportunities will begin popping up for Bellamy next spring if he has added some strength and worked on that footwork.

NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
From Blake Grupe to Braden Lenzy, the offseason countdown begins anew
No. 99 Blake Grupe, kicker, Arkansas State transfer
No. 99 Rylie Mills, junior defensive lineman, a tackle now playing more at end

No. 98 Tyson Ford, early-enrolled freshman, a defensive tackle recruited as a four-star end
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, sophomore defensive tackle, still ‘as wide as a Volkswagen’
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a junior defensive tackle who tore his ACL in March
No. 91 Josh Bryan, sophomore kicker
No. 91 Aiden Gobaira, early-enrolled freshman defensive end, four-star recruit
No. 90 Alexander Ehrensberger, junior defensive end, a German project nearing completion
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, sophomore tight end
No. 87 Michael Mayer, junior tight end, likely All-American
No. 85 Holden Staes, incoming freshman tight end
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, junior tight end
No. 83 Jayden Thomas, sophomore receiver, former four-star recruit
No. 80 Cane Berrong, sophomore tight end coming off an ACL injury
No. 79 Tosh Baker, one of four young Irish offensive tackles
No. 78 Pat Coogan, sophomore center, recovering from a meniscus injury
No. 77 Ty Chan, incoming offensive tackle, former four-star recruit
No. 76 Joe Alt, sophomore starting left tackle
No. 75 Josh Lugg, sixth-year offensive lineman, likely starting right guard
No. 74 Billy Schrauth, early-enrolled freshman offensive guard coming off foot surgery
No. 73 Andrew Kristofic, senior offensive tackle-turned-guard
No. 72 Caleb Johnson, sophomore offensive tackle, former Auburn pledge
No. 68 Michael Carmody, junior offensive line utility man
No. 65 Michael Vinson, long snapper, ‘Milk’
No. 65 Chris Smith, defensive tackle, Harvard transfer
No. 59 Aamil Wagner, consensus four-star incoming freshman offensive tackle
No. 58 Ashton Craig, incoming freshman center
No. 57 Jayson Ademilola, fifth-year defensive tackle, coming off shoulder surgery
No. 56 Joey Tanona, early-enrolled offensive guard coming off a concussion
No. 56 Howard Cross, senior defensive tackle with heavy hands, and that’s a good thing
No. 55 Jarrett Patterson, fifth-year offensive lineman, three-year starting center, captain
No. 54 Jacob Lacey, senior defensive tackle, now lighter and a starter
No. 54 Blake Fisher, sophomore starting right tackle, ‘ginormous’
No. 52 Zeke Correll, senior center or perhaps left guard
No. 52 Bo Bauer, fifth-year linebacker, Ironman
No. 50 Rocco Spindler, sophomore offensive guard
No. 48 Will Schweitzer, sophomore end-turned-linebacker
No. 47 Jason Oyne, sophomore defensive end-turned-tackle
No. 44 Junior Tuihalamaka, early-enrolled freshman linebacker, consensus four-star recruit
No. 44 Alex Peitsch, junior long snapper
No. 42 Nolan Ziegler, early-enrolled freshman linebacker, Irish legacy
No. 41 Donovan Hinish, incoming freshman defensive tackle, Kurt’s brother
No. 40 Joshua Burnham, early-enrolled freshman linebacker-turned-end
No. 34 Osita Ekwonu, senior Vyper end coming off an Achilles injury
No. 31 NaNa Osafo-Mensah, senior defensive end
No. 29 Matt Salerno, fifth-year receiver, punt returner, former walk-on
No. 28 TaRiq Bracy, fifth-year starting nickel back
No. 27 JD Bertrand, senior linebacker recovering from a plaguing wrist injury
No. 25 Philip Riley, sophomore cornerback
No. 25 Chris Tyree, junior running back, possible Irish bellcow
No. 24 Jack Kiser, senior linebacker, second-year starter
No. 20 Jadarian Price, early-enrolled freshman running back with a ruptured Achilles
No. 9 Eli Raridon, incoming freshman tight end with a torn ACL

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