Davin Bellamy experienced the most humbling 64 seconds he could’ve ever imagined. In overtime of the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Georgia senior delivered what looked like the greatest defensive play in program history.
He was the reason that 2nd and 26 happened.
Bellamy’s timely takedown of Tua Tagovailoa was supposed to be an iconic play. It would’ve made Bellamy a legend in Athens. Maybe it would forever be known as something like “the sack.”
One minute, Bellamy was shown celebrating the play that put Alabama in the once-insurmountable hole. But the next time he got a closeup was 64 seconds later when Alabama players celebrated the touchdown pass that clinched the National Championship. With his hands on his hips, Bellamy had no words.
“The camera went right at me and it just showed my face in disbelief that they just completed a bomb on 2nd and 26,” Bellamy told Saturday Down South. “My social media was filled with people saying ‘humble yourself.’ They had memes about it.”
“Humble Yourself” was the trolling phrase of choice for a reason — it was coined by Bellamy. A week earlier, he had a different postgame moment go viral. When Georgia was the team who celebrated the walk-off touchdown in overtime, it was Bellamy who shouted “humble yourself” at Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield after the Rose Bowl win.
ESPN cameras caught that one, too.
“People told me that I couldn’t talk trash to him because (Mayfield) was the Heisman winner, but I didn’t really look at it as talking trash,” Bellamy said. “I was yelling at (Mayfield) because it was so loud. But it was really just a word of advice, honestly. Some of the pregame tactics that he pulled, our wide receivers didn’t like that and they got us fired up in the locker room before the game.
“I just thought it was the perfect message.”
To Bellamy, the “Humble Yourself” message is much more than a viral soundbite or meme. It’s a mantra. It’s a phrase that he preaches, and it’s a phrase that he tries to practice.
Oh, and it’s his trademark.
That’s right. As of Feb. 9, Bellamy now owns the trademark to “Humble Yourself,” and he’s selling T-shirts online.
He started selling them last month and already got some social media help from Vine sensation Brandon Armstrong (AKA NBA player impersonator “Bdot”), who posted a picture wearing the “Humble Yourself” shirt to his 1.5 million Instagram followers. Bellamy also sent shirts to former Georgia teammate Todd Gurley and rapper Quavo, whom he hopes can also build the “Humble Yourself” brand with their large social media followings.
Former Georgia linebacker Davin Bellamy
Bellamy struck while the iron was hot. With ESPN, USA Today, ABC News and several other national media outlets talking about it, he decided it was his turn cash in on the catchy phrase without any more NCAA restrictions.
“I never expected it to be like this,” Bellamy said, “…it was just everywhere.”
Bellamy’s goal is to make “Humble Yourself” a mantra that everyone can live by. Whether it’s athletes, kids or churchgoers, he believes that anyone can benefit from hearing and embodying the message.
Just like he did.
For those who feel that “Humble Yourself” comes across as preachy, it’s important to understand its church roots. It is preachy. Bellamy knows that. He also knows that just because “Humble Yourself” is his catch phrase doesn’t mean that he’s above people. He remembers when that was exactly what he needed to hear when he was in high school.
Bellamy’s mom, Bridget, was the originator of the phrase. It became applicable when her son got a big head after he became a star at Chamblee High School (Ga.). Bridget tapped into her Christian faith to try and get through to her son. From the Bible verse James 4:10 (humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up), “Humble Yourself” was born in the Bellamy household.
“It kinda just stuck with me,” Bellamy said.
Still, it wasn’t easy to practice what his mom preached as a true freshman at Georgia. Bellamy expected to play immediately. Instead, he rode the bench behind future NFL draft picks like Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins. College proved to be a tougher transition than Bellamy imagined.
Before his redshirt freshman season, Bellamy was arrested and charged with DUI, underage possession of alcohol and speeding. That earned him a 2-game suspension, which didn’t exactly help him solve his playing time problem.
Though the charge was later dropped, Bellamy still used that experience and his frustrating start on the field as a turning point.
“That’s really what humbled me,” he said. “You’re not as good as you think you are.”
Instead of worrying about getting snaps, Bellamy treated his time with Floyd and Jenkins as a chance to learn. As an underclassman, Bellamy peppered his teammates with questions while he waited his turn. Eventually, it paid off.
Former Georgia linebacker Davin Bellamy
Bellamy stayed the course and worked his way into the linebacker rotation. When Floyd and Jenkins entered the NFL draft in 2016, Bellamy really took off. He started 11 of Georgia’s 13 games and finished with team-highs in quarterback hurries (17) and sacks (5). Kirby Smart even called Bellamy “the personality” of Georgia’s defense. As a result, the 6-5, 245-pound linebacker had an NFL season to make at season’s end.
Cash in after his breakout season? Or stay and take on the veteran role?
Bellamy chose the latter, which he announced along with Sony Michel, Nick Chubb and Lorenzo Carter. Excitement in Athens was driven to new heights after the surprise announcement of the 4 seniors, but Bellamy accepted the humbling reality that he had a new role to take on.
“My whole thing was, make sure the kids don’t get cocky or get complacent. Just help those young guys with a 15-game season stay the course. My mindset just kinda changed,” Bellamy said. “I compare it to when Kobe Bryant was wearing No. 8, it was about how many plays he could make and about proving himself. I transitioned from the ‘8’ to the ’24,’ where it’s about leading these guys, making sure we do things right and correcting my struggles from game to game.”
That approach is still with Bellamy as he trains for the NFL draft at EXOS Athletes’ Performance Institute in Pensacola, Fla. At 23 years old, he’s again the old man of the bunch, preaching his words of wisdom that were learned the last 5 years at Georgia.
When he’s not advising younger prospects and marketing his new business, Bellamy is working on improving his own draft stock. Increasing his explosiveness, flexibility and athleticism are at the top of his to-do list. How high he can rise remains to be seen. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller had Bellamy as a fourth-round pick in this April’s draft.
Former Georgia linebacker Davin Bellamy
Bellamy, however, doesn’t spend time worrying about projections because as he learned at Georgia, rankings and accolades go out the window at the next level. He feels that even if he isn’t pegged as a Day-1 starter, his college career prepared him well to handle the humbling experience of getting limited snaps.
Before he begins his NFL career, Bellamy’s whirlwind year still has a few more adventures left. He’ll travel to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine next week and then return to EXOS until Georgia’s pro day on March 21. After that, he’ll take his training to Atlanta.
On the business side, Bellamy is hoping to ramp things up there, too. The plan is for the T-shirts to serve as a test for the “Humble Yourself” brand. Eventually, he wants to get the phrase on pants and license plates. So far, he said, the response has been positive.
“This is a message that can’t fade out. It never gets old. It’s not like a jean jacket or a style that fades in and out,” Bellamy said. “I feel like it’s a message that parents can tell children, and they can use it to encourage. I definitely want to use it for as long as I can.
“We’ll where it goes from here.”
Whether business booms or flatlines, the goal of “Humble Yourself” will still be the same for Bellamy.
Preach it. Live it.