Born: July 8, 1972
Jay Bellamy was born July 8, 1972 in Perth Amboy. He grew up in the Cliffwood section of Aberdeen, where he distinguished himself in youth sports leagues with his remarkable strength and speed. By the time Jay took over the starting quarterback job for Matawan Regional High, he was a rock-solid 5’11. An aggressive hitter, he also played safety for the Huskies. He was the best player on the Matawan varsity since Jim Jeffcoat in the 1970s. He also ran track for school team.
As a junior in 1988, Jay led Matawan to a state championship. In 1990, Jay accepted a football scholarship at Rutgers, where he was a two-time second team All-Big East defensive back. What Jay lacked in size he made up in smarts. With the Scarlet Knights, he studied the linebackers and defensive linemen to better understand how their pay affected his position.
When the 1994 NFL Draft rolled around, Jay’s name was not called by a single NFL club. He earned a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks and made the team as a backup safety and special teams player. He took over the starting strong safety job during the 1997 season and held that job through 2000. Jay picked off a total of 15 passes with Seattle.
In 1999, the Seahawks drafted Jay’s childhood friend, Charlie Rogers. Rarely had a town so small claimed two NFL teammates. Rogers soon developed into an elite punt returner.
In 2001, Jay signed a free agent deal with the New Orleans Saints. He remained in the starting lineup until injuries kept him on the sidelines for all but three games in 2005. In 206, he was a reserve on the Saints division-winning team. Jay started in the NFC Championship against the bears and made seven tackles, but the Seahawks fell 39–14. He retired at age 35 after the 2007 campaign, concluding a 14-year career as an undrafted free agent.
After leaving the NFL, Jay returned to Matawan to assist his old high school coach, Joe Martucci. He coached the special teams and DBs.