Wis. prospect eager to prove himself

Whitefish Bay High School linebacker Nick Bellore (6-foot-1, 232 pounds), BadgerStatePreps.com's No. 16 recruit in the state of Wisconsin, discusses his camp itinerary and the interest he is receiving from college football programs.

Nick Bellore, one of the top class of 2007 prospects in the state of Wisconsin, recently participated in a football camp at Northern Illinois.

"On Sunday I went to NIU for the one-day camp, and that went well," Bellore said during a telephone interview Tuesday. "Went through some linebacker drills, just normal stuff. Tested pretty well. I ran a 4.2 pro agility, got 15 or 16 reps of 225 on bench, which was a lot better than (the Ohio State) Nike camp. I ran kind of a disappointing 40. I think I had a really low 4.8s, which I want to improve on for these later camps of course. I got a 30.5 vertical.

"I learned a lot at the camp and I really like the coaches there like Coach Pittman (offensive line coach Sam Pittman) and Coach Doornbos (defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Denny Doornbos) and (head coach Joe) Novak. They are all really great guys and I liked them a lot.

"(This) Sunday I'm going to Michigan for their camp. And then I'm coming back — I've been kind of running into a lot of conflicts with all the other camps this summer. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to make it to Wisconsin later in the month because I have to go to Western Michigan. So it's pretty much looking like I'm going to go to Michigan and then I'm going to come home, wait a little bit, and then go to Western. And then I'm pretty much done in June. And then early in July I'm going to go to Illinois State for a one-day…

"I really was kind of frustrated that I couldn't make it down to Kansas State for their camp. It kind of interfered with a few other camps, but they've been recruiting me quite a bit. Coach Tibesar (special teams coach Tim Tibesar), I really like him, and we've been in contact quite a bit. It would be probably an 11-12 hour drive for me and my dad to get down there and we just couldn't swing it…

"In May I got calls from Western Michigan, North Dakota State, Illinois State, Kansas State, Penn….

"I have gotten a few handwritten (letters) from North Dakota State, Kansas State, Minnesota-Mankato and St. Cloud State. Pretty much just trying to find a place that really has a need at my position just to kind of find a good fit I suppose."

Bellore's position, though, is up in the air. A linebacker and offensive lineman at Whitefish Bay (Wis.) High School, Bellore could end up playing middle linebacker, outside linebacker, defensive end or fullback in college.

"Wisconsin has talked about fullback and also Kansas State, I think, wants me pretty much as a rush end," Bellore said. "I would definitely be up for playing either of those positions. It's not a big deal to me. I play O line too at my school and I think fullback is pretty much the perfect combination of a linebacker and an offensive lineman. It is just kind of in between both of them. And I think I have pretty good hands. So I think it would be a good match for me. It just seems like a lot of schools are kind of going away from a regular fullback so it is kind of hard to find. Wisconsin obviously always plays the fullback, but you are starting to find more wide-open offenses and it's kind of hard to (find). You always need (fullbacks) on goal line, but they are not used as much as they used to be…

Among Division I-A programs, Bellore said that Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Kansas State are showing him the most interest. Wisconsin is also keeping in touch.

"Coach Bostad (Wisconsin tight ends coach Bob Bostad) is the guy that kind of recruits me," Bellore said. "They seemed pretty interested. I think they really want to wait until my senior tape comes out to really figure things out. He was at our school, I think it was in May… It's not been as much as say Kansas State or Western Michigan or NIU, but I think they've been showing interest. It's just again kind of just waiting to see how I pan out my senior year.

"I have heard from some other schools. They are just not sure where they'd put me. Whether it would be maybe a smaller D end or playing linebacker inside or outside or fullback. So that's kind of where I'm at. Just kind of have to find the school that really has a need at whatever and thinks I can play that…

"When I talked to Coach Pittman on Sunday at NIU he basically said he definitely thought I could play there. He's just having a problem. He's talking to the other coaches and trying to figure out a place for me to play. They are pretty much looking for only outside backers and I was thinking of myself more as an inside backer. But I believe I could definitely play outside. I'm not huge. I'm a bigger backer but I'm not that big that I couldn't play outside. They are just trying to figure out where I could play.

"Western, I'm pretty sure — I haven't talked with them so much lately, but that should pick up when I go to camp. They pretty much know about me and we stay in contact pretty regularly.

"Kansas State, Coach Tibesar said, yeah, he really wants to see film. I think they all do but I think Northern and Western pretty much know what I can do and they are just trying to figure things out for themselves. I would say the majority of schools are looking at my senior film, the first few games (to) see how I do."

Bellore is also receiving hefty interest from Division I-AA programs North Dakota State, Penn and Illinois State.

"Penn probably has showed the most interest in their phone call as a matter of fact," he said. "I talked to their secondary coach, Coach (Jonathan) Dupont. That's excellent academics there and I'm thinking about trying to check that (school) out sometime this summer if I can. It's out in Philadelphia but if me and my dad can make it out there that would be nice just to check out the campus and see what they are all about out there.

"But from what I heard from them it sounds like a great place and I know the academics are there. I just want to check out the football piece and see if that kind of school is for me or not…

"I'm in a pretty competitive high school and I do pretty well. I get a 3.0. That's really important to me in college is to have good academics. Penn is obviously just a real fine institution when it comes to academics and their business school. That interests me quite a bit obviously. I just kind of got to sit down and figure out what really fits with me and what I can do. But definitely school is real important to me. I'm not the best student you will find but I think I work hard and I've got a desire to learn and do well in school."

Bellore scored a 22 on his first attempt at the ACT. "I took it (again) this Saturday," he said, "and I think I did quite a bit better. I should get the results probably in a week or two weeks now. I was really disappointed with the first one and I'm sure that I did quite a bit better this time."

Bellore is considering majoring in business or kinesiology in college. If the latter, he would probably aim to become a strength and conditioning coach after college.

"It is kind of up in the air between those two kind of major paths, right now anyway," he said.

Whether he ends up being a business major playing fullback or a future strength coach playing outside linebacker — or some other combination entirely — Bellore is eager to show college football programs that he is deserving of a scholarship offer.

"I just want to play at the highest level that I can," he said. "If it's Big Ten, it's Big Ten. If it's MAC, it's MAC. I just want to play."

Added Bellore: "Coach Pittman at NIU is great and so is the linebackers coach, Coach Doornbos. And Coach Mooreland (tight ends coach Jake Moreland) at Western, Coach Morrison (linebackers coach Steve Morrison) at Western, Coach Bostad at Wisconsin was real nice. And Coach Nystrom (linebackers coach Kyle Nystrom) at North Dakota State and Coach Tibesar at Kansas State. I really have no complaints. It is just anxious to kind of get that validation in the form of an offer from a school. Just kind of got to keep working and just hope one comes my way this year."

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