South Carolina Football: Gamecocks called “frontrunner” to land SEC starting quarterback in transfer portal

South Carolina football was called the "frontrunner" to land KJ Jefferson if he transfers. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football was called the "frontrunner" to land KJ Jefferson if he transfers. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina football fans are sad to see Spencer Rattler go to the NFL this offseason, but there is a certain amount of excitement about the potential start of the “LaNorris Sellers era” in Columbia, as well. The former 4-star prospect is a big-time athlete with a cannon for an arm and his status as a Palmetto State native makes him even more of a fan favorite.

However, according to reports on Wednesday, next year might not be the LaNorris Sellers show in Columbia after all.

Right after reports surfaced that Arkansas starting quarterback KJ Jefferson was entering the transfer portal, 247Sports’ Brad Crawford reported that the Gamecocks are an early frontrunner to land Jefferson. He also noted that Auburn and TCU are in the Jefferson sweepstakes. Mississippi State and new coach Jeff Lebby also have been mentioned by other outlets.

Jefferson had been the starter in Fayetteville since 2021 and had tallied a career touchdown-interception ratio of 67-18 and added over 1850 yards and 21 TDs on the ground. He has amassed almost 10,000 yards of offense and 88 touchdowns in his career. The current 5th-year senior is 20-17 as a starter.

Jefferson could still elect to turn pro, but his reported move to the transfer portal (and the fact that sources are telling 247Sports that he has “favorite” destinations in mind), indicates that he plans to play a final year of college football.

The connections to the Gamecocks make sense for Jefferson. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains coached at Arkansas prior to this season, and Jefferson’s favorite tight end target Trey Knox followed Loggains to Carolina and has positive things to say about his experience in garnet and black.

While Jefferson is a very good player, South Carolina football fans are going to be split on him coming to Columbia if that is what he decides to do.

LaNorris Sellers is a similar player to Jefferson, just faster and with four years of eligibility remaining. Jefferson also had a knee injury in Arkansas’ final game of the year, and the severity was never addressed fully as the Razorbacks’ season was over.

For what it’s worth, shortly after the reports of Jefferson hitting the portal surfaced and Crawford’s article was published, Jefferson posted on social media that he hadn’t “made [a] decision yet.” He was not specific as to what exactly that meant, but it is worth noting.

It should also be mentioned that Spencer Rattler technically could return for another season with the South Carolina football program, but his status as a likely pick in the top half of the 2024 NFL Draft has most expecting him to head off to the professional game.

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