CLEMSON — When Dabo Swinney suspended tailback Mike Bellamy indefinitely for violation of team rules and “not being as focused as we wanted him to be,” he said Bellamy would have the opportunity to earn his way back onto the roster in January.
That remains an ongoing process. Bellamy is back on campus after being sent home from the ACC title game and suspended for the Orange Bowl, but his status remains somewhat uncertain.
When asked Wednesday if Bellamy would go through winter workouts with his teammates, Swinney responded, “As of right now.”
Bellamy’s status, he said, “is a daily deal.”
““We’ve got a plan in place and he’s got a decision to make every day,” he said. “As long as he makes the right decision, he’ll be with us. If he doesn’t, he won’t.”
A year ago, Bellamy signed with Clemson as a five-star recruit. Bellamy was Clemson’s No.2 rusher last fall behind returning senior starter Andre Ellington, rushing for 343 yards and three touchdowns on 57 carries. His return would bolster the Tigers’ backfield; the only scholarship backs behind him are sophomore D.J. Howard and junior Rod McDowell.
Freshman Zac Brooks, a multipurpose back, has also signed with Clemson as an early enrollee and will go through spring practice.
“If he continues to grow and do the right things, and keep maturing, he’ll be out there with us,” Swinney said.
Swinney was asked about former five-star linebacker Tony Steward, who tore his ACL for a second time in October. He is rehabbing from surgery and his status for spring practice is uncertain.
“Rehab-wise, he’s doing very well,” Swinney said. “I don’t know if you’ll recognize him. He cut his hair (Steward had dreadlocks last season).”
Clemson has applied for a medical redshirt for Steward, who played in five games last season. The NCAA’s normal standard is 30 percent of a season or four games.
“We don’t have anything new to report on that,” Swinney said.