Since taking over as the Michigan Wolverines’ wide receivers coach this spring, Ron Bellamy has become a bit of a historian.
For those who remember Bellamy’s Michigan career, it’s well known the level of talent he shared a position room with — Braylon Edwards, Marquise Walker and Jason Avant to name a few.
The players that now occupy that room, however, never saw much — if any — of that golden age, so Bellamy has decided to teach them about it.
“In my room, I have about six pictures,” Bellamy said Tuesday. “It’s Steve Breaston, Jason Avant, it’s Marquise Walker, David Terrell, and Braylon Edwards, and those were the core guys I played with at Michigan. It’s just a bit of a history lesson for the boys when they come into the office. We just talk about the tradition of Michigan football and the great tradition of wide receiver play here.”
The mention of former Michigan greats almost immediately brought up the obvious question — who on the current roster emulates those legends? Bellamy was quick to answer, at least for a couple.
Andrel Anthony and Braylon Edwards: “Andrel, one of the guys that he wants to emulate is Braylon, the things that Braylon’s done on the field, and you know you look at it, they’re very similar. You know, body structure and — I can share stories cause I played with Braylon for two years and just how Braylon wanted to attack the game, you know, and Andrel wants to add that to his game.”
Ronnie Bell and Steve Breaston: “You know Steve Breaston has, there’s a few guys. You know Ronnie has a little Steve Breaston in him, very slippery, decieving, you know Steve had — I tease him — Steve had the awkward running, you know, but he always runs away from you and he’s hard to tackle, and Ronnie’s the same way. Steve’s probably a little taller than Ronnie but very, very savvy football players that are deceptive with their speed and elusiveness.
Darrius Clemons and Jason Avant: “Darrius Clemons right now, the young buck. He’s not as polished as Jason — he will be — but you know, he’s the guy that, you know, ‘Hey coach, watch this,’ you know? He’s a bigger guy, he’s 210 and strong as an ox. He’s explosive, he loves contact, Jason was like that. Jason and I played together here, and as Jason was learning to be a receiver, before he was catching passes and running routes, Jason was the guy who’d thin the safeties out, go block linebackers, kinda do the dirty work per say. Darrius is that guy that say ‘Hey coach, put me in. I don’t care if it’s a blocking play, put me in,’ you know he’s that guy that kinda carries that torch. It’s cool for a young guy to kinda carry that torch.”
Finally, when asked about the state of the position room as a whole, Bellamy made one last comparison to history.
“We compete,” Bellamy said. “What I know of Michigan football and wide receivers, we’ve always been loaded. This has been a position that has, like I mentioned, a great history, great tradition and one of the things is you compete.
“It’s a mentality, you know? I played for Lloyd Carr, man, if you don’t block and don’t take care of your teammates, you don’t play. That’s the mentality in our room.”