South Carolina football finally got it’s answer from the NCAA.
Josh Belk will play for the Gamecocks in 2018. There’s still no word on Jamel Cook
USC had applied for waivers allowing both transfers to play in their first seasons on South Carolina’s roster. Both were four-star prospects and two big acquisitions off the offseason for Will Msuchamp’s staff.
“Obviously, we are very happy to get the news from the NCAA that Josh is eligible to play this season,” Muschamp said in a statement. “Our compliance department did a great job of making a strong case for Josh and the NCAA did the right thing in granting the waiver. I’m appreciative for everyone involved in making this happen.”
Belk missed the first six practices as the team got paperwork for his physical in order. He showed some flashes of talent during open periods of practice. He came in at a heavy 359 pounds and has been working to drop that weight.
Belk, a 6-foot-3, 360-pound defensive tackle, was a four-star prospect who started his career at Clemson in the spring but transferred to USC in the summer. He was ranked No. 102 in the final 247 composite rankings for 2018, seventh among defensive tackles and second in the state. South Carolina was recruiting him hard through 2016 before he committed to the Tigers in late January of 2017.
Belk’s lawyer Everett Stubbs tweeted “Spurs Up” on Wednesday night and on Thursday released the following statement:
“We are extremely pleased with the results for this wonderful young man, his family, Coach Muschamp, Coach Thompson and the University of South Carolina Athletics Department. I can’t express enough the refreshing level of professionalism and expertise that Coach Muschamp and his staff and the USC Athletic Compliance Department operated with in this process. Very impressed with that whole crew in Columbia through this process and the synergy for which they have shown on this issue. It is obvious that there is no shortage of leadership and dedication within that program”
Cook, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound safety, was a four-star prospect before spending two seasons at Southern Cal. He was the No. 99 player in his class and No. 2 athlete. He redshirted in 2016 and played as a backup in 2017.