South Carolina defensive tackle Josh Belk stunned many people when he announced that he was leaving the team. While initially a surprise, it seems that there’s now a little more clarity as to what led to Belk’s decision.
According to The State, injuries – potentially serious ones – could have had a huge influence on Belk’s decision. Vizor Sports Carolina would later reveal that Belk admitted to suffering a fractured vertebrae, forcing him to give up the game of 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.”
A four-star prospect coming out of high school in 2018, Belk initially enrolled at Clemson before leaving in the Summer of 2018. He transferred to South Carolina and received a waiver to play immediately.
.@VZRSportsBelle just received this from Josh Belk re: his departure from SC.
"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
— Vizor Carolina (@VizorSportsSC) February 13, 2019
In losing Belk, Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks lose one of the most highly touted defensive linemen in the country. 247Sports had Belk rated as the No. 102 prospect in the country, the No. 7 defensive tackle prospect, and the No. 2 prospect from the state of South Carolina.
Belk had seven tackles and one pass defended in four games this past season.
South Carolina wound up finishing 7-6 after losing to Virginia in the Belk Bowl. It was the Gamecocks’ third straight bowl appearance under Muschamp.