South Carolina football fans were introduced to Antwane “Juice” Wells last season when the wideout had an All-SEC campaign, despite the Gamecocks employing an offensive coordinator (Marcus Satterfield) who didn’t do his team many favors.
Even though Wells had five games with three targets or less, he still put up over 900 yards of offense with 7 touchdowns in the 2022 season.
Wells and Spencer Rattler set the online Gamecock community ablaze by announcing that they would be returning to the South Carolina football team in 2023, and the offseason hype was huge, particularly for Wells. Called by some outlets the best receiver in the SEC this offseason, #3 in garnet and black was all over the preseason award watch lists.
Unfortunately, an offseason foot injury was made worse when Wells battled through the pain to play. After a touchdown against Georgia, Wells left the game and has not played since.
In the two months since the re-injury, communication about Wells’ injury has been strange, but there has remained a small amount of hope that he would return to play this year. Wells will not suit up on Saturday against Kentucky, but head coach Shane Beamer seemed to hint that the dynamic wideout could be back for the regular season finale against Clemson.
When speaking early this week about his team’s injury situation, Beamer made a point to mention that Wells practiced. In previous updates on the talented receiver, the South Carolina football head coach would say things like, “He’s running on the side” or “He’s working out.” Clearly, he’s taken a step forward.
Coach Beamer also made it clear that he believes Wells has been looking to get over a mental hurdle and was absolutely not “shutting himself down to save himself for the NFL.”
With those updates, Gamecock fans started to have hope again.
Then, later in the week, Wells’ father Antwane Wells, Sr. posted on Facebook a response to a fan that was assuming his son was just prepping for the NFL and would not return. The senior Wells included in his reply the phrase “when he kills the SEC next year.”
Not only might Juice Wells play again this season, according to the young man’s father, he might even return for another season in Columbia.
Sure, a player’s dad speaking on social media isn’t binding, and a coach announcing that a player is practicing doesn’t mean anything. However, now that fellow receiver Xavier Legette has turned into one of college football’s top wide receivers, South Carolina football fans are longing to see #3 and #17 line up together once again.