Bellore commits to Central Michigan

Nick Bellore, the No. 17 prospect in the state of Wisconsin according to, has made his college decision. The 6-foot-2, 232-pound linebacker feels he found the perfect fit with the Chippewas.

Nick Bellore wanted to commit to the Central Michigan University football program as soon as head coach Brian Kelly offered him a scholarship following his performance at the Chippewas' one-day football camp June 29.

"I felt like I wanted to make the decision right there when he offered me," Bellore said in a telephone interview this afternoon. "But it's four or five, six years of your life and I really had to sit down and talk with my parents."

It did not take Bellore long to come to the realization that Central Michigan was indeed the place for him. He called CMU linebackers coach Mike Elston yesterday morning and made his verbal commitment.

"He was really excited," Bellore said of Elston's reaction. "He kind of discovered me… he saw me at Michigan (camp) and I think he definitely wanted me there (at Central Michigan). But he just told me he had to show the other coaches how I moved and everything like that. I think I was kind of his guy from the beginning. He's an outstanding guy. He's straightforward, in black-and-white and he let me know exactly where I stood… which is nice because I didn't get that from everybody that recruited me through this whole process.

"I was just like blown away by everything at Central and it's just the place for me.

"I think we're going to go up there in a few weeks here when we're going to be in Michigan to see family, and take my mom there and my sister to show them around.

"I just got a text from the defensive coordinator, Coach (Joe) Tresey. They sound real excited to have me and I'm really excited obviously to be going there."

CMU was Bellore's only scholarship offer, but he was also receiving interest from Wisconsin, Western Michigan, Kansas State and Northern Illinois.

"We made a pro and cons list of Central and it was all pros and we couldn't find any cons," Bellore said of his discussions with his parents. "My mom was saying it was too far away but she would probably say… Wisconsin was too far away…

"There was nothing I saw that gave me any hint of not wanting to go (to Central Michigan). It was just from the start that was where I wanted to go. The next two days were just kind of a process of convincing my mom just because she hasn't been there in a while (Bellore's mom is a CMU graduate) and she isn't up to date on the whole recruiting process and how it works. So she had some questions, but got those resolved and made my commitment yesterday and it's nice to have it there and out of the way and be all set."

Bellore will likely play middle linebacker during his time at the Mount Pleasant, Mich., campus, but could also play the weakside "will" position. When Kelly presented Bellore with the scholarship offer last week, the CMU head coach said that he "could easily be on the two-deep as a freshman," Bellore said. "If that's the case, I've talked with my dad about possibly doing the early graduation, in December, then being there and then being able to participate in spring ball."

That decision is far from settled, though, but the potential to see the field early certainly factored into Bellore's decision.

"That was a big part of the decision is definitely playing time will be there," he said. "I wanted to find a place I could play. I didn't want to get on the field for the last game of my senior year...

"When we had our meeting (Kelly) told me that if I need to I could move to a will ‘backer but… he definitely thinks I'm a mike and that's what I'll be playing. And they've got like a junior or a senior there right now and then it's pretty much open there."

According to, CMU heads into the fall with junior Thomas Keith at middle linebacker and senior Doug Kress at the will position. Their backups are a sophomore and a senior.

Bellore is excited to have the decision out of the way well before the start of his senior season.

"I'm really happy," he said. "It is not going far in the playoffs and that cloud of the recruiting stuff on top of it. It is just taking the team as far as they can go now. You don't have to worry about sending tape out every Saturday to these coaches for them to make their final decisions… It's really nice.

"I think it's the perfect situation for me. It's a good fit in all facets: academically, athletically and I'm real happy with it."

Bellore said he may now try to direct other in-state prospects to CMU. Pewaukee tight end/defensive end J.J. Watt (6-5, 225) and Hartford offensive tackle Jacob Olson (6-7, 240) are also known to have offers from the Chippewas.

"I think I might try to work on some Wisconsin guys now," Bellore said. "… I might try to get those guys' numbers and get a relationship going and try to get some Wisconsin boys on the bandwagon."

Bellore is the fourth in-state prospect with a known commitment, joining St. Francis offensive tackle Josh Oglesby, Platteville athlete Louis Nzegwu and Middleton wide receiver Nick Toon, all of whom verballed to Wisconsin.

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