Josh Belk is crossing enemy lines in the Palmetto state and moving from Clemson to South Carolina, trading orange and regalia for garnet and black in a way fans from the area probably can’t conceive.
The former four-star coming out of high school was ranked by 247Sports as the second-best player in the state as part of the Class of 2018 and enrolled early with the Tigers, going through an entire spring practice in the program before deciding to transfer in May without even playing a snap for Dabo Swinney. The Gamecocks were a big factor in Belk’s initial recruitment and appeared to land him on the second try when he made things official on Twitter Friday night.
Unless a waiver can be run through the process prior to kickoff in September, Belk will have to sit a year before taking the field in 2019 with four seasons of eligibility left. His high school coach told The State when he initially announced a transfer that a family matter was at the heart of his decision to change schools and while Clemson is certainly a good in-state option, Columbia is about half the distance from where Belk grew up.
Another SEC program, Georgia, also received a visit from Belk but it seems the home state pull was just too big to pass up.
Clemson’s depth along the defensive line has taken a bit of a hit the past few months even before this decision but it’s not like the Tigers aren’t well set there with four returning All-Americans and a new crop of five-stars set to take over behind them. On the flip side, Belk will be able to have an easier route to playing time with the Gamecocks when he eventually becomes eligible — as well as add a bit of drama for whenever he steps onto the field against his former school in the Palmetto Bowl.