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DT Belk leaves Clemson, transfers to SC

After enrolling early and spending the spring at Clemson, freshman defensive tackle Josh Belk is leaving to join the South Carolina football program in the fall.

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The former four-star prospect announced Friday on Twitter that he's jumping over to Clemson's in-state rival after going through spring practice with the Tigers.

Belk was recruited heavily by South Carolina while in high school before deciding on Clemson. Now, just a few months later, he's on his way to the Gamecocks after all, but he'll have to sit out the 2018 season as a transfer before having four seasons of eligibility remaining.

"I am thankful for the opportunity I had at Clemson University," Belk tweeted Friday night. "I am most thankful to the University of South Carolina coaches, staff and players for welcoming me into their program with open arms and allowing me the opportunity to play college football at the highest level of competition while being closer to my family."

One of the factors in his decision to transfer was that Columbia, where the University of South Carolina is located, is significantly closer to his family. He had announced in May that he was leaving Clemson and visited South Carolina and Georgia before making his decision.

The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Belk was ranked among the top recruits in the state in 2018. In his final high school season, he accumulated 110 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, seven forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass deflection. He also received the honor of playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

"The University of South Carolina is home for me," Belk tweeted. "I will be spending the remainder of my collegiate career wearing garnet and black in Columbia, SC playing for Coach Will Muschamp and the USC Gamecocks."

Belk had impressed Clemson coach Dabo Swinney during spring practice.

"When it's just low man wins and leverage, he's pretty good," Swinney said, according to The State in Columbia, S.C. "He gets his hands on you, he's strong, he can move people. You weigh him down with all the scheme and alignments and all them details that really kind of matter, he's a freshman. So, he's going to be a good one. He's got all the good stuff, all the tools, but we've got a lot of work to do there as far as getting him to where he can be an every-down player."

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