No. 37 Matt Bellini – Running Back/Receiver – 1986-1990
Matt Bellini is one of the oddest players on the BYU Top 100. He was listed as a running back but most of his production came as a receiver. In fact, during his senior season, he only had eight rushing attempts. Part of that was because of Ty Detmer who threw the ball for 5,188 yards that season and running the ball was almost non existent that season while the starters were out.
Bellini was used as a blocker and a screen running receiver. In fact, if Bellini was listed as a receiver and only had those stats he still would have been ranked a top 100 player.
Bellini was the kind of player that makes a good team great. If a running back is able to run that is good, if he can run and block he is good, but if he can also catch that is elite. Bellini although not used much as a runner, he kept defenses honest from dropping more guys back because of his ability to make people miss out of the backfield whether that was after a catch or handoff. Bellini also was a four year star gaining 600+ yards in each of his four seasons.
43 passing yards, 998 rushing yards, and 2,635 receiving yards over a career are really good statistics to have for any player. What is more impressive is how he did it on so many touches. His 12.9 yards per reception is good for any receiver but is even more impressive for a running back catching mainly out of the backfield. He also added 29 career touchdowns. The only downfall is that his senior season was not his more impressive season with only three touchdowns and 618 total yards, his lowest of his four years.
Memorable Moments A-
Bellini made the first touchdown catch against No. 1 Miami in 1990, one of the biggest wins ever for the Cougars. In that game he had 10 catches for 111 yards. Against Navy in 1989 he scored all four touchdowns for the Cougars on only 15 total touches. In a game against TCU, Matt Bellini went off on nine catches for 202 yards.