Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney announced after practice Thursday that defensive end Xavier Thomas will miss camp and will be held out due to recently recovering from strep throat.
Swinney also said Thomas had COVID-19 earlier this summer and he did have some complications from it. The medical staff wants to hold him out because of cautionary reasons.
The plan according to Swinney is to redshirt Thomas in 2020. The Clemson coach said Thomas came down with COVID-19 prior to the team returning to Clemson in June.
“He is going to take timeout and be where he needs to be, also mentality,” Swinney said.
Swinney said Thomas is wearing a yellow jersey. Said they are going to hold him like they did James Skalski during the 2018 season.
“He is nowhere near where he needs to be to play football,” Swinney said.
Thomas is expected to graduate in December. Swinney said he could comeback at the end of the year and play in at least four games.
Thomas, a preseason All-ACC candidate by many, was expected to start on the strong side of the Clemson defensive line in 2020.
The former 5-star was rated as the No. 1 defensive end in the country coming out of high school and the No. 3 overall player according to 247 Sports. Known for his size, speed and physicality, Thomas was an All-American at IMG Academy in Florida.
Though Thomas, a junior, has shown flashes of his potential here and there, his success in high school has not completely transferred to the college game. Injuries set him back in 2019, a year many believed he was going to have his breakout season.
During his freshman season, with future NFL players Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant playing in front of him, Thomas was productive. He tallied 43 tackles as a reserve, including 10.5 for loss, 3.5 of which were sacks. He also broke up a couple of passes and had six quarterback pressures.
He missed three games due to injury last season, but he was still named as a third-team All-ACC selection. He finished the season with 31 tackles, including eight tackles for loss and two sacks.
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