South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer sent out a #WelcomeHome message yesterday on his Twitter/X account, indicating that he had gotten a call about a player pledging his services to the Gamecocks.
Rumors started circling about who the commitment could be. Former Gamecock pass rusher Gilber Edmond had recommitted to the team after leaving in the transfer portal last offseason for Florida State. Several other players had also visited Columbia in recent days.
According to reports from Auburn reporter Mike Gittens, the commitment is coming from former Auburn football quarterback Robby Ashford. Gittens said that his sources also told him that Ashford would be eligible immediately to play for offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.
Ashford began his career with the Oregon Ducks before transferring to Auburn where he played for two seasons. However, because of the "Covid redshirt" and a traditional redshirt year, he will have two years left to play college football and provide competition for expected starter LaNorris Sellers.
As a player, Ashford is more known for his running ability than his passing acumen. The 6'4" athlete could carve out a role with the Carolina offense even if he doesn't win the starting quarterback job from Sellers.
Ashford has some starting experience from his days at Auburn, and he has plenty of experience coming off the bench as a dual-threat who can run or use his solid arm strength to try to hit a receiver deep. While he has struggled with accuracy and decision-making at times in college, Ashford's athleticism and big-play potential are intriguing.
With the Gamecocks, Ashford could have the opportunity to show off that arm, as well. Oftentimes with mobile quarterbacks, a play-action deep ball can be a useful weapon. Wide receivers like Nyck Harbor, Jared Brown, Gage Larvadain, and Ahmari Huggins-Bruce all have enough speed to be deep threats in Loggains' offense. Last year, Xavier Legette led all of college football in catches over 30 yards in the regular season.
Ashford technically would be the second quarterback to commit to the Gamecocks from the transfer portal this offseason as former Pittsburgh and Oklahoma quarterback Davis Beville is walking on to the South Carolina football team.