Clemson's former five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas will miss most of the 2020 season after his battle with COVID-19, head coach Dabo Swinney told reporters Thursday, including Matt Connolly of The State.
Swinney plans to redshirt Thomas this year, making him eligible to play in four games.
"We are holding him out for medical reasons. Really treating him like an injury," Swinney said. "X has probably had more on him than anybody since March. He's just nowhere near where he needs to be to play football."
"He had a hard time when he got back with just his breathing, and again, that's a combination of COVID, his strep throat, being a little heavy," he added.
Thomas reacted to the announcement on Twitter:
Clemson endured a massive COVID-19 outbreak this offseason. In June, 37 Tigers players tested positive, and overall there were 43 cases among athletes at the school. The university announced in late-July that it's no longer dealing with active coronavirus cases.
After amassing 3.5 sacks as a freshman in Clemson's national title campaign two seasons ago, Thomas racked up 1.5 sacks last year. The star defensive lineman has also notched 28 tackles (16.5 for a loss) through 26 games since 2018.