South Carolina football did not extend a scholarship offer to Spring Valley High School’s Jalen Geiger, a 3-star prospect in the recruiting class of 2019. Because of that, the Columbia native left the state, ending up with the Kentucky Wildcats.
The 6’1″ defensive back played primarily in a reserve role for the Wildcats for five seasons but did start several games in 2021 and 2022. Injuries were a big reason for his smaller role while in blue and white.
Geiger is considered a high-character player who has enough versatility to help out at any spot in a team’s secondary. At this point, it is unclear if the South Carolina football staff has any interest in bringing Geiger home, but the Gamecocks are expected to lose (at minimum) five defensive backs this offseason.
In the Senior Night ceremony prior to the rivalry game against Clemson, DeAngelo Gibbs, Isaiah Norris, BJ Gibson, David Spaulding, and Marcellas Dial participated. Gibbs, Norris, and Gibson did not see much action for the Gamecocks, but Spaulding and Dial both spent extended time as starters and key reserves.
It seems likely that the transfer portal could claim a DB or two from the South Carolina football roster, as well. Based on the current class of Gamecock commitments, USC is not in line to replenish fully the players they are losing in the secondary.
The 2024 recruiting class includes four players who are planning to start their careers as defensive backs as 4-stars Jalewis Solomon, Kelvin Hunter, and Braydon Lee and 3-star David Bucey are current South Carolina football commitments. 4-star athlete Zy’marion Lang is believed to be starting off at receiver but could be a candidate to move to DB.
Jalen Geiger was one of several South Carolina kids to wind up in Lexington, Kentucky in recent years. He was a teammate of Palmetto State natives kicker Chance Poore, defensive back Andru Phillips, and defensive back Jordan Robinson. Class of 2024 prospect Quaysheed Scott is a Marion, South Carolina product who is currently committed to Kentucky, though the Gamecocks are working to try to flip his commitment.
Based on the social media reaction to his transfer by Kentucky football fans, Jalen Geiger and his family were well-loved in Lexington. He is a grad transfer, so he can find a new team immediately if he chooses to do so. Because of the “Covid redshirt,” he has one free year of eligibility remaining but could appeal for a 7th-year medical redshirt, as well.