(UPDATED Thursday PM) #Gamecocks lose one of their top young players

Xzavier McLeod is no longer with the USC football team

We have gathered more information on the dismissal from the team of freshman DT Xzavier McLeod by USC head coach Shane Beamer. First, the recap from Wednesday:

Freshman DT Xzavier McLeod did not travel with the USC football team to Missouri last weekend. After the game, head coach Shane Beamer McLeod’s absence was the result of a coach’s decision. Wednesday it was first reported by TheBigSpur that McLeod was no longer with the football team. That report was later confirmed by a USC spokesman by other outlets.

It is not known if McLeod has been permanently dismissed from the team or will have the chance to return.

David Cloninger of the Post and Courier reported that social media posts by the parents indicated McLeod, who had played in four games, the max for preserving your redshirt, did not want to play in any more games to keep his redshirt and that’s why he refused to travel to Missouri.

Thursday a source told SportsTalkSC.com that last week McLeod approached Beamer about redshirting this year. According to the source, Beamer told McLeod he would love to be able to do that for him and a few other freshmen, but the situation within the team would not allow him to do that. Beamer emphasized to McLeod that the team comes first over a single player. When McLeod did not show up to travel with the team to Missouri, Beamer contacted him and set up a meeting for this week. At the meeting, Beamer again shared his position with McLeod that decisions are based on what’s best for the team and not an individual, and McLeod did not agree. Beamer then suggested to McLeod it may be time for him to move on to another program. According to the source, Beamer found it unacceptable for a player to place his own wishes ahead of what the coach viewed as best for the team at that time.

McLeod won the Mr. Football Award in South Carolina last year following his senior season at Camden High School. He was one of the state’s top recruits and viewed as a great pickup for the Gamecocks when he announced his commitment on August 18th, 2022. He picked the Gamecocks over Michigan, Florida and Georgia

As a high school senior, McLeod had 53 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. This season with the Gamecocks, McLeod appeared in four games, the maximum you can play and still redshirt. His last appearance was in the Florida game. For the season, McLeod had one tackle and one pass interception, both coming against Florida.

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