Belk confirms he’s leaving South Carolina football team

Belk confirms he’s leaving South Carolina football team

COLUMBIA, SC ( - Josh Belk is no longer with the South Carolina football team.

The former high school All-American, who began his college career at Clemson, has decided to leave South Carolina. He retweeted the tweet below and confirmed that he was no longer going to be a part of the Gamecocks' football program.

Belk, who appeared in six games for the Gamecocks as a freshman, was credited with seven tackles, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry this past season.

A 4-star recruit out of Lewisville High School, Belk was the No. 7-ranked defensive tackle in the class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite. He was listed second among prospects from the state of South Carolina.

After a standout week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Belk enrolled at Clemson in January of 2018, went through spring practice, played in the Tigers’ spring game and completed the spring semester. On May 16, he announced that he was leaving the program, so he could be closer to home.

Seven days later, Belk visited South Carolina for the first time since the transfer. He also visited Georgia before a commitment was announced on June 8.

Belk was on hand for the Gamecocks’ first preseason camp practice on Aug. 2, but did not participate in the workout. Eight days later, he was on the field going through drills with the rest of the defensive linemen, though his status for the 2018 season was still up in the air.

Before the end of August, the NCAA ruled that Belk would be eligible to play for South Carolina in 2018.

Belk, who’s listed at 6-foot-3, 359 pounds on the team’s website, battled with his weight during his short stay in Columbia. He also suffered an ankle injury in the Georgia game, which limited his availability during the season.

In November, while South Carolina was on the road playing Ole Miss, Belk was spotted at Clemson’s game against Louisville.

After missing the next seven games after the Georgia game, Belk eventually returned to action against Chattanooga. He closed out the season with appearances against Clemson, Akron and in the Belk Bowl versus Virginia.

Belk was expected to be among players returning to the team’s defensive tackle rotation, which still includes Javon Kinlaw, Keir Thomas, Kobe Smith, Rick Sandidge and Kingsley Enagbare.

Since taking over as the South Carolina football coach, Will Muschamp has added two players who began their college careers at Clemson. The other, defensive back Kaleb Chalmers, was with the Gamecocks for only the 2017 season.

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