Confirmed: Former 5-star freshman transferring from Clemson

Confirmed: Former 5-star freshman transferring from Clemson

CLEMSON, SC (TheBigSpur) - By Anna Hickey,

Freshman defensive tackle Josh Belk intends to transfer from Clemson, Clemson247 has learned.

Belk arrived on campus as an early enrollee in January.

Clemson247 was told that the majority of the team found out about Belk's decision on Tuesday.

South Carolina appears to be the most likely destination but that's unsettled.

Belk hails from Richburg (S.C.) Lewisville, less than an hour from Columbia, S.C. He committed to Clemson over runner-up South Carolina in January 2017. At the time, he cited his relationship with Clemson defensive tackles coach Todd Bates as well as the culture at Clemson as the reasoning for his decision.

He was ranked as a five-star prospect by 247Sports and as the No. 1 defensive tackle in the nation.

He was behind rising junior Dexter Lawrence and rising redshirt sophomore Nyles Pinckney on the depth chart entering the fall. Belk received rave reviews for most of the spring involving his ability to dominate at the point of attack in one-on-one situations.

Dabo Swinney was asked about Belk's progress last month:

"Josh was great today. When it's just low man wins, and leverage, he's good. He gets his hands on you, he's strong and he can move people. When you weigh him down with the scheme and alignment and all of those details that matter, he's a freshman.

"He's gonna be a good one, man. He's got all the good stuff, all the tools, but we still have a lot of work to do to get him to be an every-down player."

Here's the explanation behind his five-star ranking, offered by 247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons: "He isn't challenged on the high school level given the competition that his high school plays but Belk showed the ability to be dominant against elite players at the Army Bowl. There's rare natural strength here. He's barrel-chested and showcases effortless power as a disrupter in the run game. He can control blockers or just blow up blocking schemes as a push-the-pocket guy. He can be very effective as a two-gap defender. There isn't a lot of pass-rush finesse or polish to speak of but Belk has the raw tools to develop that side of his game. In addition to the raw strength, he's got suddenness and explosive athleticism that gives him all kinds of ceiling."

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