South Carolina Football: Yet another Gamecock transfers to SEC rival

South Carolina football starting linebacker Stone Blanton announced his intention to transfer just before Christmas, and on Friday, he announced his destination.

South Carolina football linebacker Stone Blanton is transferring to an SEC rival.
South Carolina football linebacker Stone Blanton is transferring to an SEC rival. / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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Just before Christmas, Gamecock starting linebacker Stone Blanton announced his intention to transfer from the South Carolina football program. The Mississippi native spent two years in garnet and black and was a starter in 2023 both in the 4-2-5 base defense and the 3-3-5 defensive look that USC used at the end of the season.

On Friday, #52 announced that he had decided where he would be transferring, and his destination should come as no surprise to anyone. Stone Blanton is heading home.

Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi, Blanton will be moving about two hours from his hometown to Starkville to play for new Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Jeff Lebby. He will also be coached by former South Carolina linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler who is the new defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach for the maroon and white.

Though he was rated as a 4-star recruit coming out of high school, Blanton struggled during his South Carolina football career. He was a solid tackler, but his battle to keep up with faster players and some difficulties with run fits and pass coverage were problematic at times in Columbia. He had 59 tackles in his two years as a Gamecock.

Blanton is the fourth former Gamecock to announce a transfer this offseason to an SEC rival. Wide receiver Juice Wells is heading to Ole Miss, defensive tackle Xzavier McLeod will be with the Georgia Bulldogs, Grayson "Pup" Howard recently committed to the Florida Gators, and now Stone Blanton will play for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Transfer portal tight end commitment Brady Hunt flipped his pledge to Texas A&M, as well.

The Gamecocks have added one transfer portal linebacker and two freshmen in the class of 2024 to help replace Blanton and Howard. Demetrius Knight is coming in from the Charlotte 49ers, and Wendell Gregory and Fred "JayR" Johnson are both 4-star prospects.

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