South Carolina football: notable opt outs on the Gamecock schedule

Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the LSU Tigers. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the LSU Tigers. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Some notable names have fallen off the South Carolina football slate.

On Wednesday, Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman opted out of the college football season, joining what’s become a trend ahead of the condensed 2020 slate. He is the 11th player from the Southeastern Conference to sit out the year, including two Gamecocks, as he turns his attention now to NFL draft preparations.

Newman had been the frontrunner to take over under center in Athens, after transferring from Wake Forest as a graduate student. Now, it looks like another transfer, JT Daniels, will take the reins. Daniels arrived in Athens this summer after beginning his career with Southern Cal.

With Newman’s shocking announcement, Garnet and Cocky decided to look at some other notable names that were originally set to face off against the Gamecocks, but who’ve now opted to skip the season.

We’ll start with Newman, and what it could mean for the Gamecocks.


Newman looked poised to take over following the departure of Jake Fromm. His decision comes less than a month before the season is set to start, and could put the Bulldogs in a bit of a dicey situation as they look to fill the quarterback opening. The new leader appears to be JT Daniels, a transfer from Southern Cal.

When Newman announced his intention to transfer to Georgia earlier this year, it immediately launched the Bulldogs back into national championship consideration. While at Wake Forest, the third-year player threw for nearly 4,000 yards. As a junior last year, he earned all-conference honors, throwing for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Demon Deacons to an eight-win season.

Newman was projected in a few mock drafts to be a first-round choice in the 2021 NFL draft. Now, he’ll devote all of his time to training and preparation, rather than suiting up on the field for Kirby Smart. Newman’s era in Athens ends before it ever got started.

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Quarterback Jamie Newman #12 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /


Chase’s announcement was a little less of a shock, as LSU is breaking in a new quarterback in the 2020 season. With Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow under center, Chase reeled in 84 catches for an NCAA-leading 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.

With an expected drop off at the quarterback position in 2020, Chase decided that it was better to gear up for the NFL rather than risk hurting his draft stock as a junior. The All-American has done just about all that he can at the college level, and will use this fall to prepare for a professional career.


Chase isn’t the only LSU Tiger to opt out. In fact, four members from last year’s national championship squad will sit out in 2020. Farrell made a huge impact on the defensive line for the Tigers last season, tallying 46 tackles and three sacks from his end position.

Expected to be a starter in 2020, Farrell has stated that he plans to return to Baton Rouge in 2021.


Another loss on the defensive line, Shelvin was expected to be the anchor in coordinator Bo Pelini’s 4-3 defense. The rising junior totaled 39 takedowns from his interior position, three of which went for a loss.

Considered the 69th best prospect for the 2021 NFL draft, he may take the fall to prepare for a pro career. He was expected to be one of the conference’s top returning defensive players and will be a huge blow for the Tigers to overcome.


Rising senior defensive back Kary Vincent will sit out his final season in order to get ready for the NFL. A starting safety and nickelback, Vincent picked off four passes over 15 games last year. He also added 47 tackles.

Vincent is considered to be a day two pick, meaning he’ll likely be selected in the second or third round of next year’s NFL draft.

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Kary Vincent Jr. #5 of the LSU Tigers intercepts a pass. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /


Not only did incumbent starting center Eli Johnson opt out of the 2020 season, he’s also in the transfer portal. The interior lineman started all 12 games for the Rebels in 2019, allowing just one sack over the entire year.

Johnson’s father battled the Coronavirus earlier this year, which obviously played a part in his decision to sit out. Lane Kiffin will need to find a reliable option to fill the void quickly.


Blades appeared in seven games as a junior in College Station, recording 19 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and three pass breakups. The junior college transfer started six games at cornerback in 2019 and was expected to continue in that role in his final season.

Instead, he’ll sit out this year with plans to return to the Texas A&M defense in 2021.


Milstein was the first SEC player to opt out, making his decision back on August 3rd. He was expected to compete for the starting placekicker role following the departure of last year’s starter Ryley Guay. Milstein was an All-Ivy league performer at Columbia prior to joining the Commodore roster. He will likely return to Nashville in 2021.


Wooten tallied 27 tackles and an interception in a reserve role for the Tigers last year. He opted to sit out 2020 as he is becoming a first-time father this fall.

Wooten, who should be in line to compete for a starting role in the middle of the Auburn defense, plans to return to the Plains as a senior in 2021.

Next. Gamecock football: 5 bold predictions for 2020. dark