Head coach Dabo Swinney made the announcement after Wednesday’s practice, adding that DeStefano will remain in school under the NCAA’s medical hardship program. He plans to remain with the program as a student-coach, while the Tigers will add a scholarship to their 2014 class.
“I really hate to hear this because I think he was on his way to becoming a great player,” Swinney said. “It’s a shame, but it is the right decision.”
The decision was a common one between DeStefano, his parents and Clemson doctors.
DeStefano was a 3-star recruit out of Dorman High School who participated in the Shrine Bowl and Under Armour All-American Game. He enrolled at Clemson in January 2012, and redshirted last season before playing the first two games of 2013 at tight end and offensive line.
After logging 58 snaps at tackle Sept. 7 vs. South Carolina State, DeStefano missed the next three weeks with testing on his neck and shoulder. His education will continue to be paid for, as he pursues a degree in political science.
DeStefano’s high school teammate at Dorman, wide receiver Charone Peake, suffered a season-ending knee injury last month.