South Carolina Football: The transfer portal is opening; what positions do the Gamecocks need to hit hardest?

South Carolina football. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
South Carolina football. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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South Carolina Football
South Carolina defensive back O’Donnell Fortune had an up-and-down campaign in his first year as a starter. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina Football Transfer Portal Needs:

There’s no way around it: Clayton White’s defense, as a whole, was bad this season. The end of the year (against Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Clemson) was much better, and fans are hopeful that the positive results will continue next season.

As part of the struggles, the South Carolina secondary underperformed this fall. Cornerback Marcellas Dial had a decent year in man coverage, and fellow starter O’Donnell Fortune had an up-and-down year. The safeties really struggled in coverage, but much of that was on coaching as they were asked to play man coverage far too often.

Dial is out of eligibility barring an unforeseen additional year being granted by the NCAA, leaving a starting spot open across from Fortune.

Judge Collier was the first corner off the bench most of the season and started twice while Fortune was suspended. Emory Floyd has played a fair amount, as well, and fellow youngster KaJuan Banks has played all over the secondary. 4-star true freshman Vicari Swain and incoming freshmen Braydon Lee and Jalewis Solomon could factor into that job before all is said and done.

Clearly, the Gamecocks lack experience at the position moving forward. Over the past two seasons, South Carolina football has lost three corners who got the majority of the snaps in 2022 and their #1 man coverage option in 2023. Adding a potential starter at the position could be huge for the Carolina defense next season.