USC sophomore defensive tackle Josh Belk “fractured vertebrae” in his back according to his former head coach at Lewsiville William Mitchell. Belk confirmed to @VZRSSportsBelle that he has decided to retire from football. .
“I fractured a vertebrae and decided to choose another path in life. One that won’t potentially mess me up in the long run with injuries and all. Been praying and this is what God has led me to.”
Belk was a highly touted prospect as a high school senior. He signed with Clemson but left there and transferred to USC last spring. The NCAA granted him immediate eligibility and he played in 6 games and totaled 7 tackles.
Belk was expected to compete for a starting job along side Javon Kinlaw in the spring. His departure does open a spot in the 2019 recruiting class as he was counted among the 25 players signed in December and February by Will Muschamp.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Muschamp issued the following statement:
“After talking with Josh Belk, he has decided to give up the game. He is a fine young man and we wish him the best.”