What high school recruit would not love the opportunity to play for the defending national champions, who just happen to have a propensity for sending football players to the NFL—especially at your position.
“That was a major factor, I want to make it to the NFL,” four-star defensive tackle Clemson commit Josh Belk said. “I was like this is a school close to home that is successful on the field and in the classroom. I was like, this is a good fit for me. They are going to push me. They have got the best guys there that are going to push me to compete and that’s what I want.”
But it was not just those two things that made his decision for him—it was the totality of what the Tigers’ program offers that ultimately made his decision.
“I had been thinking about in state schools for quite a while. So, I had been down to in state schools for quite a while and Clemson just had that family atmosphere between the team and coaches,” Belk said. “It is just an uplifting environment. Me and Coach Bates, I think it was around his first couple of days there, on that visit he stayed with me throughout the day talking to me—telling me a little bit about him, and getting to know each other. I had never connected with a coach like that on the first day. It just stood out to me and I was like, ‘I want to be coached by Coach Bates.’
“All of the coaches up there, they want you to not only be good football players, but they want you to be good men and good in the classroom. They told me that when I know for sure what I want to do to go ahead and put your name on it. I knew that this is what I want to do and where I want to play at—so, I’m All In.”
Now, the task for Belk becomes to turn the switch from recruit to recruiter.
“When I see them on campus or, we have a group chat, we are trying to pull them in,” Belk said. “Jamaree (Salyar), Justin Ross and all of those good offensive guys. We are trying to get those guys to come on board and be a part of something special.”
But even as he is preparing for his senior season of football, Belk already has an understanding of what he needs to improve on before he arrives on campus.
“Consistency, I need to have a great senior year, show that I can be a leader on the team and come to Clemson ready to compete,” Belk said. “I have got to be better than I was last year. Just to improve more than I did last year. I have a goal of 10 tackles a game.”