South Carolina Football players who might not return in 2024:
4th-Year and 5th-Year Gamecocks
The South Carolina football roster is loaded with 4th and 5th-year players who could return to school but also could test the NFL roster. Juice Wells has already been mentioned because he is the most likely of the bunch to play in the League next season, but there are several Gamecocks from all three phases of the game that fit into this category.
Defensive tackles Tonka Hemingway and Boogie Huntley are in their 4th seasons in garnet and black, and both have had productive careers. The South Carolina natives have outside chances of getting picked up by an NFL team if they declare, and Hemingway, in particular, could be picked late in the NFL Draft.
Special teamers Kai Kroeger, Mitch Jeter, and Hunter Rogers could all end up in the NFL. Most special teamers are not drafted and are, instead, picked up via NFL free agency. None of the three have had quite as good of a season in 2023 as they did in 2022, but it seems reasonable that they all would get an NFL tryout if they elected to go pro.
Tight end Josh Simon is in his 5th year of college after transferring in from Western Kentucky. However, after Trey Knox went down with a hamstring injury, Simon has emerged as a big-time difference-maker for the USC offense. If Simon were to elect to go pro, he likely would get a training camp shot, but if he returns to Carolina and has a nice 2024 season, he could get drafted.
Linebacker Debo Williams has had a much better season than most predicted him to have. He is set to become the first Gamecock to eclipse 100 tackles in a season since TJ Brunson in 2018. While he is far from a finished product, he has some instincts in the run game that can’t be taught, and he is a high-effort player. Williams could have an NFL future if things go right for him.
As individuals, none of these seven players seem likely to leave the program, but all of them reasonably could get an NFL shot if they go pro.