By PATRICK KINMARTIN
Posted: 02/04/2009 11:36:38 AM PST
OROVILLE - Josh Bellamy, a highly recruited receiver on Butte College's national title football team who was poised to sign a letter of intent to Washington State this morning, changed his decision with a commitment instead to Iowa State.
Situations like Bellamy's unfolded around the country today, National Signing Day, a college football tradition centered around new player recruits celebrated throughout the country on the first Wednesday of February every year. It marks the earliest date that top high school and junior college prospects looking to enroll at four-year universities for the fall semester can sign official commitments to the schools of their choice.
Bellamy initially made a verbal, non-binding commitment to Big 12 Conference member Iowa State early in January. Yet he still decided to accept an invitation to visit the Pac-10's Washington State on Jan. 24. Like acclaimed Butte teammate Brandon Rankin, the JC Athletic Bureau All-American who signed his official commitment to the Cougars today, Bellamy expressed considerable interest toward signing with Washington State after returning to Northern California.
In a media advisory about signing day sent out Tuesday afternoon by the Butte athletic department, Bellamy's choice was listed Washington State. But while displaying his normally playful personality and a sense of nervousness upon arriving at Butte's signing day ceremony at the Cowan Athletic Complex this morning, Bellamy admitted he was uncertain about his decision.
Even as Rankin and other teammates were signing their official letters of intent, Bellamy stepped into the office of Butte offensive coordinator Robby Snelling to talk further in-depth about the choice between Iowa State and Washington State.
Five minutes earlier, Bellamy in a humorous tone urged Butte defensive line coach Willie Thomas to flip a coin three times to see which school would first come up twice. Iowa State's side came up both times and Bellamy made a gesture of sarcastic relief.
When Bellamy returned to the ceremony from Snelling's office, he said he was ready to make his decision.
"I'm going with Iowa State," he said. "My first choice. I told you I would."
In addition to Rankin and Bellamy, two other Butte players signed with major four-year programs this morning. Running back Alex Green, the Roadrunners' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2004, signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Hawaii and defensive back Preston Pace penned his official commitment to Louisville.