Bryce McNeal leaving team, but will stay at Clemson

Clemson's Bryce McNeal runs after making a catch against Wofford.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson's Bryce McNeal runs after making a catch against Wofford.

— Clemson announced Monday night that sophomore wide receiver Bryce McNeal has decided to leave the football team, but remain at Clemson as a student.

McNeal played in the Tigers’ first three games, but missed practice Wednesday and Thursday and Saturday’s win over Florida State for “personal reasons.”

He had 19 receptions for 187 yards as a freshman, playing in 12 of 13 games and starting three. But he had just one reception for eight yards this season, while being passed in the playing rotation by freshmen Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant and Charone Peake.

McNeal will graduate from Clemson next summer in under three years’ time, which will give him the option to transfer to another BCS school and finish his career without sitting out as a transfer.

“Bryce has decided to leave the team, but will remain in school with plans to graduate this summer,” coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement. “He plans to attend another school and play football in 2012. Graduating in three years will be quite an accomplishment.

“Bryce has been a fine representative of the Clemson program and we hoped he would remain with the team. But, he wants to fully concentrate on his studies so he can graduate this summer. We wish him the best and will help him any way we can.”

His departure was not surprising. Four-star wideout Quinshad Davis of Gaffney told TigerIllustrated.com over the weekend that Clemson would be able to recruit him because of McNeal’s impending move.

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