Cardinal Hayes QB Rich Belin announces commitment to Syracuse

Rich Belin, the New York State Player of the Year and quarterback for Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx announced that he has verbally committed to play college football at Syracuse University.

Belin is a dual-threat quarterback who led the Cardinal Hayes Cardinals to the New York state championship last season, made the announcement at The Original Cake Man Raven, a Harlem Bakery. 

"All this is just a testament to the hard work that I put in myself, but as well as, the village that I have around me," Belin said. "And it's a strong village behind me with my family, my parents, my brothers, my church family, friends—just everyone just pouring into me all these years—and this was the result of that."

At one point, Belin became emotional, remembering his grandmother—present only in memory.

"My grandmother was the mother of our family. She was the woman that everyone went to when they had a problem where they just wanted to vent. They just wanted to talk. She was our rock," adds Belin. "But I know she is watching over me, and she wouldn't want me to continue to move on like I have been. So I know she's up there proud of me and she just means the world to me."

The commitment is yet another chapter in an already incredible journey for the young quarterback.

"It was just complete excitement as he put that hat on," says Belin's father, Henry, who is a Senior Pastor at First A.M.E. Church and volunteer at Cardinal Hayes. "I was happy for him. Now let's move forward. Let's get ready is get prepared."

Henry added that his family was so grateful for the opportunity to meet with so many coaches and visit so many campuses, adding that his son received offers from 7 out of the 8 Ivy League schools.

"But Syracuse spoke to him," adds Henry. "The new coach, being able to play in a Power 4 school with a wonderful offensive coordinator, a quarterback coach—who we've been familiar with, we work with him as he was in youth—really spoke to him. Head coach Fran Brown being able to show and demonstrate what he's about to do at Syracuse and Rich wanted to be excited to go and be a part of it."

"It's been a wonderful journey," Belin's mother, Rita said. "It's been long. It's been challenging, but I wouldn't trade anything for it."

In the fall, the Cardinals overcame the odds to become the first team from New York City to capture the New York State Catholic High School Championship, led by Belin's play. 


Cardinal Hayes High School's historic journey to winning NY state football championship

A long unbelievable journey filled with adversity along the way—the Cardinals couldn’t host opposing teams at their home field because of its condition.

"It's absolutely surreal. It's unreal. To see God's timing and just praying... it all coming to fruition. It's an amazing thing," adds Belin. "And I still have so far to go, but I will celebrate this win right now."

And being a college football quarterback runs in the family. Belin's brother, Henry Belin IV currently plays for the Duke Blue Devils.

"We've been competing since we were kids, so why not do it on the biggest stage?" Belin said.

Belin's twin brother Blake also plays football, lining up as a defensive tackle, and plans to commit to an ACC school as well.   

"I'm excited to get in the door and compete every day and prove and prove myself," says Rich. "And wear the name that's on my back, play with pride, and then also represent the name that's on my chest—which would be Syracuse. So I'm just excited to go and compete. And I'm just going to have to put in the work."