After reports surfaced that wide receiver Juice Wells was leaving the program via the transfer portal, South Carolina football fans started imagining the worst-case scenarios about which current Gamecocks could be joining him in the portal.
Though the transfer cycle is far from over, South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his staff seem to have held things together as just two more contributors (kicker Mitch Jeter and wide receiver O’Mega Blake) announced their intentions to transfer. In all, there have been 15 scholarship players who have announced or have been reported as transferring, but just 3 of them played a consistent role on last year’s team.
With the roster needing some upgrades, Beamer and his staff have dispensed several offers to players in the transfer portal. Here are some names to watch for South Carolina football fans:
*All listed players have acknowledged an offer from the Gamecocks on social media*
Jayden McGowan, Wide Receiver from Vanderbilt, 2 years of eligibility: McGowan is a South Carolina native with above-average speed and wiggle who can immediately come in and contribute on special teams and in the slot.
Will Sheppard, Wide Receiver from Vanderbilt, 1 year of eligibility: Sheppard is a former All-SEC receiver who has a well-rounded game. He is one of the most sought-after receivers in the transfer portal and will be pursued by almost every school in the country.
Gerald Kilgore, Defensive Back from Tennessee Tech, 3 years of eligibility: Kilgore is the older brother of current Gamecock Jalon Kilgore. He was a high school quarterback who became a DB at the college level. He is smart and is a willing tackler on the back end.
Don Chaney, Jr., Running Back from Miami, 1 year of eligibility: Chaney, Jr. is a South Carolina football legacy as his father (Don Chaney, Sr.) was a receiver for the Gamecocks in the 1990s. The younger Chaney is a solid back but has some potential red flags from a health/injury perspective.
Rocket Sanders, Running Back from Arkansas, 1 year of eligibility: Sanders was high on the Gamecocks out of high school and was rumored as a potential transfer last season. He was recruited to Arkansas by current Gamecock coach Justin Stepp and played under Stepp and USC offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.
Javante Mackey, Linebacker from Arkansas State, 3 years of eligibility: Mackey is a tackling machine who joined Gamecock safety Jalon Kilgore as a Shaun Alexander Award finalist (nation’s top freshman) in 2023.
Gerquan Scott, Offensive Lineman from Southern Miss, 1 year of eligibility: Scott is a versatile offensive lineman who can play guard or tackle, though most of his 40 starts at Southern Miss came at guard.
Justin Mayers, Offensive Lineman from UTEP, 1 year of eligibility: Mayers is an interior offensive lineman who made an All-Conference USA team in 2022.
Tyler Neville, Tight End from Harvard, 1 year of eligibility: Neville is a former FCS All-American and 2x All-Ivy League performer. He is a similar style player to former Gamecock Nate Adkins as he is a dominant blocker who can hold his own as a pass-catcher.
Deandre Jules, Nose Tackle from Pittsburgh, 1 year of eligibility: Jules was a starter up front for Pittsburgh and came on late for the Panthers. He is a massive human being at 6’3″ and 315 pounds.
Cyrus Allen, Wide Receiver from Louisiana Tech, 2 years of eligibility: Allen is a speedy receiver who also has enough size to play on the outside. He had one of his best career games against Missouri with 125 yards on 5 catches.
RJ Oben, Defensive End from Duke, 1 year of eligibility: Oben is a Louisville legacy and could also flirt with the NFL Draft.
Kevin Wigenton II, Offensive Lineman from Michigan State, 2 years of eligibility: Wigenton started some for the Spartans and has picked up some interesting transfer portal offers. The Gamecocks look to be the most impressive offer on the board, but what Wigenton is looking for in a new program is not known.
Marcus Carroll, Jr., Running Back from Georgia State, 1 year of eligibility: Carroll is a veteran running back who made the first-team All-Sun Belt squad this past season.
There will be many more transfer portal players who come onto the South Carolina football staff’s radar in the coming weeks and months. Some players will be making their decisions prior to the early signing period in December, while others will wait until the spring semester.