Clemson offensive tackle Shaq Anthony informed Dabo Swinney on Thursday of his intention to transfer from the program.
The timing is surprising, but Anthony's comments do not suggest an overly bitter or spiteful split with the program.
"This is an outstanding program, but I wish to make a clean start at a program where I can hopefully be a starter," Anthony said in a statement released by the school. "I want to thank all the Clemson coaches, my teammates and the Clemson family for their support.
"I have enjoyed my time at Clemson and appreciate the opportunity I've had. I will always be a Tiger."
Anthony was not guaranteed to start in 2014, but the 6-foot-4, 280-pound tackle has played 17 games in the last two seasons (with five starts) and leaves a hole in the rotation. Swinney and his staff has focused on the offensive line in its recent recruiting classes, and now they may be called on to make an early impact.
"I appreciate the hard work Shaq has put into this program," Swinney said. "Sometimes a player needs a change. I support his decision and will help him any way I can. I wish him nothing but the best."