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As the blazing South Florida sun sizzles on the massive turf field complex of Ft. Lauderdale's Holiday Park, one of the region's most sought-after quarterback prospects continues his workouts week-after-week.

There are lots of passes being thrown, of course. 

But there are also a lot of punches being thrown.

Punch mitts aren't part of typical quarterback drills, but Davi Belfort isn't your typical college QB prospect.

The incoming Virginia Tech freshman QB and son of legendary MMA fighter World Champion Vitor Belfort, Davi, has combined his passion for boxing and football into one of the most unusual workouts you'll ever see on a football field.

Yeah, Belfort partakes in the typical drills that focus on QB development, like footwork and passing mechanics. One of his QB coaches, Oliver Bozeman (who also worked with Mike Vick, among others), always focuses on mechanics. 

But then there is boxing. Davi has trained with his father and other MMA fighters over the years, and he claims it all could make him even better as a Hokie QB of the future.

"Punching and throwing are essentially the same rotation with my hips and my torque, and my core," Belfort told me. "It's the same rotation. I've been boxing since I was a little kid. Actually, I was born when my dad was fighting Tito Ortiz (in Las Vegas at UFC's famous pay-per-view main event in February of 2005), so boxing has always been a part of my life since the moment I was being born. Even now, I can focus two or three times each week on boxing, which mentally helps me."

Belfort arrived in Blacksburg last Saturday, beginning his career as a Virginia Tech quarterback, leaving his South Florida home to start the next chapter—one that began in South America with a stop in Nevada before his family settled in Florida.

"I was born in Brazil and spent six years in Rio de Janeiro before we moved to Las Vegas. And I had always played soccer but fell in love with football when we lived in Nevada. We moved to South Florida when I was 11, and that's when things really took off."

As a junior at Miami's Gulliver Prep, he completed 66 percent of his passes, accounting for 2,358 yards of offense and 16 total touchdowns despite playing only seven games. Last year, Belfort accounted for 3,115 total yards and 34 touchdowns at Western High School. He was a three-time team captain in high school.

Ranked a 4-star QB by ESPN and Rivals, Belfort had over 30 scholarship offers from around the country, including Michigan, Michigan State, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, and Alabama. "I visited Alabama twice," he said.

That's an eye-popping list.

And thus, when he signed with Virginia Tech, he became the highest-ranked, most heavily recruited out-of-state QB to sign with the Hokies in school history. 

Why Virginia Tech?

"Every place I visited, the coaches say it's a family atmosphere, but at Virginia Tech, I felt it the moment I walked on campus," Belfort said. "You can really feel the closeness of the players and feel that family atmosphere. You can honestly feel that vibe on campus.

"I am really close to my family. We are super tight. We do everything together, and I wanted that same thing in my college experience."

Belfort said his first contact with Virginia Tech was from the Hokies' Senior Offensive Analyst, Brian Crist, several years ago.

"Coach Crist knew my QB coach, and we started talking way back then. One of the first things he asked me was, 'It's fourth-and-short; what play are you going to run?' I'll never forget that." 

Belfort said he made his first visit to Blacksburg during the middle of his junior year and "fell in love with the campus that day." He was in town the weekend of the 2022 Virginia Tech-UVA game that was cancelled due to the tragedy in Charlottesville. Eventually, he saw his first game at Lane Stadium in 2023, when the Hokies hosted ODU.

"The relationship I've been able to build with Coach (Brent) Pry and Coach (Tyler) Bowen is just so good. I really felt comfortable with both of them from the very beginning."

Plus, the Hokies had an insider on the job. Davi had heard so much about Tech from the Hokies' junior wide receiver, Tucker Holloway.

"A lot of people don't know this, but Tucker and I trained down here for a few years, and we've gotten really close," Belfort said. "We were training at the same camp, and that's how we met. We text every day."

Training and athletics are huge for the Belfort family, and the results are obvious. Vitor's home office is filled with championship belts and memorabilia from his professional boxing and MMA career. The impressive belts sit in beautiful wooden frames, lit perfectly by soft recessed lighting.

Vitor was once the world's best mixed martial artist. In 1997, he became the youngest UFC tournament winner, and he was UFC's light-heavyweight champion in 2004.

Davi's two younger sisters, Vitoria and Kyara, are both athletes (volleyball and track), and his grandfather played professional volleyball and was a member of the Brazilian national team.
Belfort's mother, Joana, was a reporter on a Brazilian TV sports show called "In Shape with Feiticeira" on TV Bandeirantes, where she conducted interviews with Brazil's top athletes from various sports about their daily training and other human-interest angles. 

It's really a fantastic—and candidly a famous—family.

Now, the son of two of the biggest celebrities in Brazil is ready to carve his own identity in hopes of becoming the first-ever Brazilian-born QB in major college football.

"It's a great time to be at Virginia Tech, and I think we're going to be really good this fall," Belfort said. "I'm really looking to learn a lot from Kyron Drones. How he prepares. How he studies. There's lots to learn."

Listed at 5-11, Belfort lists NFL QB Russell Wilson as one of his mentors. "We are the same stature," Davi joked.

Wilson, the former Seattle and Denver QB who signed with Pittsburgh this past offseason and is also 5-11, is a big supporter of the Hokies' rookie QB. "We text often, and he made a video for me right before a game last season that was very inspirational."

Pry and Bowen made sure to mention they've won with a QB like this before at Penn State. Trace McSorley, anyone?

Belfort seems incredibly grounded as well. He mentions his faith and family as the building blocks of his career. "My faith is huge to me."

The pedigree is there. The support is there. As is the commitment to preparation, the work ethic, and the attention to details. Things he said he learned from training with his father over the years.

"My dad? We do everything together. He's my best friend."

Could the next great Virginia Tech quarterback be the son of a legendary Brazilian boxer?

One look at his social media account shows us that there are legions of fans in Brazil following Davi. The outpouring of support and well-wishes—in Portuguese, of course—is fun to see.

"Maybe someday we can play a Virginia Tech football game in Brazil?" Davi asked. "If the NFL can play a game there, why can't we?"

The NFL announced last week that the Green Bay Packers would face the Philadelphia Eagles in Brazil on September 6.

While a major college football game in that country is not on the schedule, the thought of the "Copacabana Kid" leading the Hokies onto the field down there would be a special homecoming.

Regardless, from Rio de Janeiro to Blacksburg, there are a lot of people hoping Belfort becomes just as successful as his dad, a big-time star who happens to throw footballs, not punches.