In just his first season as a starter in 2005, Belton (6-6, 220, 4.9) threw for 2,800 yards with 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He is ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect and the No. 1 quarterback in the state by Ohio High magazine.
"Right now, I am very excited about this," Belton said of the recruiting process. "As a sophomore, I was a JV quarterback and I backed up a very talented senior (Tyler Horner). There weren't too many colleges that showed much interest in me or knew much about me. So now, receiving all the letters and text messages and being in contact with these colleges is very exciting for me."
Belton listed a few of the schools he is considering.
"Ohio State, definitely," he said. "Along with a lot of the schools in the Big Ten. For example, Michigan State. And then, my grade-point average is pretty good, so I have some Ivy League schools looking at me, as well as Stanford."
Belton would like to make a decision before the 2006 football season begins, but he's not giving himself a deadline.
"Actually, I'm not sure about that, but probably before my senior year starts," he said. "Over this summer, I want to have it narrowed down to where I pretty much want to go. But that's all based upon the offers and which coaching staff and the environment that I want to be around."
Belton was asked for his general impression of Ohio State.
Belton has been an Ohio State football fan for as long as he can remember.
"Oh definitely," he said. "Both my parents actually attended the university. So, yes, I always dreamed about possibly going to Ohio State."
Belton was asked for his reaction to being ranked as the top QB in Ohio.
"Well, it's definitely an accomplishment and makes me feel good," he said. "But when it comes down to it, here on the high school level, all I want to do is take our team to our conference title and then making it to the playoffs. The individual achievements are great and they are something that I hope to achieve, but that all comes with me doing my job on the field and helping my team to victory."
Not many quarterbacks step in as a first year starter and have the kind of season that Belton did. His situation is very similar to that of Brady Quinn when he played at Dublin Coffman High School. Quinn didn't start until his junior year, had a huge season, and became a hot commodity heading into his senior year.
Belton was asked if his excellent junior season took him by surprise.
"Actually, kind of, and kind of not," he said. "I had such a great quarterback coach in Mike Schneider, and I backed up an amazing quarterback named Tyler Horner. After watching him, everything kind of comes easy to you on the field. Once we practice all week and I'm with my coach and behind him, everything that you see on game day is stuff that you already practiced during the week. My coach did such a great job last year of preparing me for the game and everything so when it came to be game time, it was just like practice. Nothing I haven't seen before."
Belton gave his strengths and weaknesses as a quarterback.
"Definitely my arm strength is a key," he said. "And one reason that I think I stand out more than other quarterbacks is I don't have that first instinct to take off and run if one man is not open. I'm able to check down to multiple receivers and find the open man. And also, being intelligent on the field and being able to read different defenses in a short amount of time.
"I think my footspeed in the pocket is great, but my open field, 40-yard dash, that kind of quickness I want to work on and improve."
Belton is not sure which football camps he will attend this summer.
"That will all depend on interest throughout the summer and who invites me and things like that," he said.
Belton – who was high school teammates with OSU defensive back Kurt Coleman – knows a lot about the current roster at Ohio State. He knows that the Buckeyes will be losing their top two quarterbacks – Troy Smith and Justin Zwick – after this season and there could be a chance for early playing time.
"Oh definitely," Belton said. "The key to me going to colleges, I'm going to look at depth charts and I want to have an opportunity to step in and play within a couple of years and take that starting position, if possible. And yes, that is definitely a great situation with Troy leaving next year and me going to be a freshman in college."
* For more on Belton, tune in to the Bucknuts Radio Hour.
And also click the link below for his Scout database page and links to video clips: