As the youngest of three brothers, Hassan Belton was destined to be a football player.
“My brothers, both being football players, definitely toughened me up,” Belton said of older brothers Andre, who played at Ridge View, and Matrick, a former Keenan star and redshirt sophomore receiver with the Gamecocks. “I was in elementary school trying to tackle high schoolers.”
“We definitely did that,” said Matrick Belton, who recently transferred from Hampton to USC. “For a while he was a shorter, chubbier kid, and it took a lot of work for him to get where he is today. He worked so hard and deserves everything he is getting now. We’re so proud of him.”
Hassan Belton said he learned from his brothers the value of hard work and perseverance, and that has served him well as he entertains offers from 12 programs, including Appalachian, Coastal, Charleston Southern, Elon and Furman. He is one of the top South Carolina prospects in the 2015 recruiting class.
“But the most important thing I learned from them is just about not letting your brother down, and the importance of teamwork, because we do everything as a team,” Hassan Belton said.
According to Matrick Belton, the baby brother learned more through observation than direct instruction. Although all three Belton brothers have natural leadership tendencies, the youngest brother always took a look-and-learn approach.
“At home, he was always pretty quiet. We called him the silent assassin. I’ve always been here if he wants advice or anything, but he never really needs advice,” Matrick Belton said. “He just figures things out on his own a lot of the time.”
So it is not surprising that Blythewood coach Dan Morgan finds Hassan Belton to be coachable and a strong leader of the team.
“He’s been one heck of a leader for us,” Morgan said. “He’s our coach on the field.”
Belton said leadership is the area where he has improved the most coming into his
“Last year, we had top players like Jalen Williams and Aaron Peake, and I’d just sit back and let them lead. This year, there are a lot more people asking watching me and asking me questions about what they should do,” Belton said.
Said Morgan: “If I need something done, I ask Hassan to tell the players what needs to be done, and he gets it all done.
“He’s a leader not only on the football field, but also in the hallways and outside the school.”
Morgan, who was the defensive coordinator for the Bengals two years ago, said Belton was always a very diligent player, even when injury forced him to sit out his sophomore season.
“When you go all the way back to the year he was injured – he came up to the press box with me,” Morgan said. “He would hear the calls I would make, he would write them down and then he would ask me questions. He would try to understand what the offenses were doing to try to hurt our defense.
He’s coachable and he wants to be good, so he does everything that it takes to be good,” Morgan said.
Belton said that comes from his brothers, too.
“I think that’s what really helped me grow as a player is just trying to compete with them,” Hassan Belton said.
With Matrick Belton back in town to heighten the competition, Hassan Belton could raise his game higher.