Running back Bill Belton joined an exclusive list last October when he cracked the century mark for the first time in his career, gaining 103 yards and scoring his first three career touchdowns to help Penn State belt the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City. Of the more than 1,000 Nittany Lions who have earned at least one letter as a member of the football team, Belton became just the 86th all-time to rush for 100 yards in a game. A former wide receiver, Belton started five games last season, and was third on the team with 263 rushing yards on 60 attempts. Due to injuries and the emergence of Zach Zwinak during the second half of last season, Belton did not see as many carries down the stretch. The athletic, swift and instinctive player, though, responded during winter conditioning and spring drills with an effort lauded by Coach Bill O'Brien. Belton's efforts in the weight room and off-season conditioning have improved his speed and strength, while adding nearly 10 pounds since the summer of 2012. His 35-inch vertical jump was third-best on the squad through the spring. One of the most elusive and talented playmakers on the squad, Belton, Zwinak and freshman Akeel Lynch give Penn State a trio of highly-skilled options in the backfield. A former All-South Jersey standout at Winslow Township High School, Belton also has demonstrated he can be productive in the passing game and returning kicks. He is among eight returning Nittany Lions from New Jersey.
2012 (Sophomore Season)
Belton appeared in eight games with five starts at running back. He was third on the team with 263 rushing yards on 60 attempts (4.4) and had three rushing touchdowns. Belton made nine catches for 50 yards and one score and returned nine kickoffs for a 15.6-yard average. He was tied for third on the team with 453 all-purpose yards. Belton made his first career start in the season-opener with Ohio and led the team with 53 rushing yards on 13 carries. But, he suffered a sprained ankle against the Bobcats and missed the next three games. He started at tailback in the 35-7 Big Ten-opening win at Illinois and set then-career-highs with 65 yards on 16 carries. Belton gave Penn State a 100-yard rusher in each of the first three Big Ten games by gaining a career-high 103 yards on 16 carries (6.4) and scoring his first three career rushing touchdowns in the 38-14 prime time win at Iowa. He had a season-long 23-yard burst and touchdown runs of 11, 3 and 5 yards against the Hawkeyes. Belton became the 86th Nittany Lion all-time to rush for at least 100 yards in a game.
2011 (Freshman Season)
Belton was a key component in the successful "Wildcat" formation that the Nittany Lions unveiled late in the season, gaining 65 yards on 13 carries in eight games. He gained 15 yards on four attempts in the big 20-14 win at Ohio State. At Wisconsin, Belton carried the ball three times, collecting 12 yards. He delivered the best game of his freshman season against Houston in the TicketCity Bowl, setting season-highs in rushing yards (38) and attempts (6). Belton made his collegiate debut in the victory at Temple and returned his first kickoff for 15 yards against Eastern Michigan. One of four true freshmen to earn playing time, Belton logged a total of 71 plays, led by 17 against Houston and 14 at Wisconsin.
Belton was named first-team all-state, all-group and All-South Jersey at Winslow Township High School, playing for Coach Mike McBride. He was honored as the Courier-Post Player-of-the-Year and Rivals.com rated him the No. 13 athlete in the nation. Belton became the first New Jersey prep quarterback to post consecutive seasons of 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing. As a senior, he threw for 2,167 yards and 21 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Full name is William Earl Belton II. He is majoring in recreation, parks and tourism management. Born February 8, 1993.