"I fractured a vertebrae and decided to choose another path in life," Belk told Michelle of VizorSports.com according to a Tweet that Belk retweeted with the comment #GodsPlan. "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."
DL Josh Belk leaving South Carolina football team
GCF Report | Information provided by THE STATE
February 13, 2019
The 6-foot-3, 360-pound South Carolina freshman has left the Gamecocks football team, a source told The State on Wednesday. He has struggled with his desire to continue playing the sport throughout his collegiate career, the source said.
Belk’s high school coach had not heard anything related to the matter as of Wednesday afternoon.
“No one has said anything like that to me. Last time I talked to him everything was fine,” said. Will Mitchell, Belk’s high school coach at Lewisville. “I haven’t heard anything about that. Usually, I would hear from the coaches on something like that.”
VizorSportsSC reported via Twitter a quote from Belk saying he had “fractured a vertebrae and decided to choose another path in life.” Belk later retweeted that with the comment “#Godsplan.”
WACH Fox sportscaster Mike Uva, citing a source, reported that Belk was having a hard time getting along with the team and that factored into his decision to leave.
There remains a chance the USC coaching staff could convince Belk to rejoin the team in time for the start of spring practice on Feb. 27.
Belk was a four-star recruiting prospect at Lewisville High School when he signed with Clemson in December of 2017. He participated in spring practice with the Tigers in 2018 but then left the team and enrolled at South Carolina in the summer. He officially joined the Gamecocks when practice started in August.
After obtaining a waiver to play for the Gamecocks immediately, Belk played in six games during the 2018 season, recording seven tackles. His most productive game came in the Dec. 29 Belk Bowl, when he had three tackles.
Belk was expected to play a larger role in the 2019 season if he was able to keep his weight under control.
The Gamecocks return five players with significant experience on the interior of the defensive line, Keir Thomas, Javon Kinlaw, Kobe Smith, Kingsley Enagbare and Rick Sandidge, all of whom had more tackles than Belk last season. Belk was rated a five-star prospect by 247Sport when he was in high school.