Clemson freshman defensive lineman Josh Belk (6-3 315) announced on Twitter this afternoon that he is transferring to a yet to be determined school and has been granted a full release by Tigers’ head coach Dabo Swinney. Belk starred at Lewisville High School and was a US Army All American as a senior. He committed to Clemson January 29th, 2017 picking the Tigers over USC and enrolled in school in January.
“I will be transferring from Clemson University,” Belk wrote on Twitter. “I appreciate the Clemson staff, fans and Coaching staff. Thanks to Coach Swinney for the opportunity. Nothing bad to say about the University and my time there. Just feel that it’s the best decision for my family and I.”
Swinney issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon: ‘“Josh is a good young man from a great family,” said Swinney. “Sometimes circumstances change, as is the case with Josh. We are disappointed he is leaving, but I enjoyed being around him the past few months. He did everything that was asked of him and had an excellent semester academically. I wish him all the best in the years to come.”
Belk has not been available for comment but his attorney, Everett B. Stubbs III of Chester, in a release, wrote, “Circumstances of Mr. Belk’s life have led him to request a full, unconditional release from Coach Swinney that was graciously granted by Coach Swininey and the University in a timely manner.”
Belk’s coach at Lewisville Will Mitchell told Hale McGranahan of SEC Country Belk needed to be closer to his home.
“There are some health issues in Josh’s family and it was necessary for him to get closer to home,” Mitchell said.
In an interview with SportsTalkSC, Stubbs said Belk will address the reasons for his transfer at some point. As for the transfer process, Stubbs said Belk wants to decide on his new school as soon as possible.
“I’m not aware of any (schools) having contacted him yet,” Stubbs said. “He did receive a full release from the University, of course subject to any ACC rules, otherwise it’s a full release as to any other NCAA schools. This is a very amicable parting between him and the University, not do with anything with him in trouble. It has less to do with him and more to do with his circumstances between him and his family.”
Stubbs said Belk anticipates transferring to a program on the Power 5 level.
Belk played in Clemson’s spring game in April and recorded 1 tackle. He was part of highly acclaimed group of defensive line signees which also included Xavier Thomas, KJ Henry and Darnell Jefferies. As a high school senior, Belk recorded 116 tackles with 34 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and 7 caused fumbles.
Along with USC, some of his other offers prior to his commitment were North Carolina, LSU, Florida State, NC State, Ohio State, Virginia, Auburn and Florida.