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2019 Top 25 MAC Players: #3 LeVante Bellamy, RB, Western Michigan

A longtime weapon in Western Michigan’s offense, the Maxwell Award candidate aims to string together consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

LeVante Bellamy arrived at Western Michigan in 2015 as a key contributor to the offense, and four years later, he continues to improve his game.

The fifth-year senior recorded his first 1,000-yard rushing season in 2018, earning 1,228 yards on 205 carries. It marked his fourth consecutive season averaging a remarkable 6.0 yards per carry or greater. But what changed about Bellamy in 2018 was that the whole nation finally got to see how dominant he can be when healthy.

Bellamy was granted a medical redshirt in 2016 after a season-ending injury struck in the third game of the year. In 2017, Bellamy lasted six games before another injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. In those seasons, he averaged 6.7 and 8.0 yards per carry, respectively, on 527 combined rushing yards.

Entering his season season, Bellamy is a member of the Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award watch lists. His speed separates him from the majority of running backs at the FBS level, and Bellamy is reported to have clocked a 4.28-second 40-yard dash this past June. That quickness is evident on the field as half of his rushing touchdowns last year involved outrunning defenders on 25+ yard carries.

Bellamy’s pursuit of gaps is impressive. Once he finds an opening created by Western Michigan’s offensive line, he flies past it in no time.

Bellamy reached the 120-yard rushing mark five times in 2018, maxing out at a career-high 213 at Ball State last November. His presence was vital in the screen game as well. Bellamy caught 30 passes to rank fourth on the Broncos, tallying 185 additional yards as a receiver.

The senior should receive a higher concentration of the carries this season, as longtime sidekick Jamauri Bogan graduated (764 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns in 2018) from Western Michigan’s backfield.

With over 1,400 yards from scrimmage, Bellamy finished as a First Team All-MAC selection, ranking second in the conference in rushing yards behind Ohio’s A.J. Ouellette. When healthy, Bellamy has proven to be the cream of the crop in the MAC, and Western Michigan will have one more season to use the Indianapolis native to gain an edge offensively.