South Carolina Football players who might not return in 2024:
Wide Receiver Juice Wells
Juice Wells made the decision to come back to South Carolina in the winter, and the preseason hype surrounding his return (both in Columbia and on a national scale) made it look like he made a great decision.
Now, after dealing with a foot injury all year, the merit of that decision isn’t 100% known. Wells has barely seen the field this season, and after a touchdown against Georgia, he hasn’t played a down for the Gamecocks.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding his injury, Wells has been projected as a player who could be taken anywhere from the 2nd round to the 7th round of the NFL Draft. If Wells returns to school, he could solidify himself as a Day 2 NFL Draft choice with a 1st round upside, but he could jeopardize his professional career if he returns and re-injures his foot.
As of now, no one knows (except for maybe Juice Wells) whether or not the preseason All-American will return to Columbia. He could have up to two more years of eligibility if he wanted them (assuming he redshirts this season), but it seems unlikely that he would use both of those seasons.
Wells’ status as a top NIL earner helps the Gamecocks’ chances of keeping him, and the improved offense under offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is better for wide receivers (as evidenced by the emergence of Xavier Legette this fall). However, the call from the NFL is strong.
With good friend and passing game partner Spencer Rattler moving on to the NFL, it is reasonable to think that Wells’ next football game could be in the NFL, but there certainly is a chance that the allure of improving his draft stock is strong enough that South Carolina football fans get to cheer on Juice Wells again in 2024.