South Carolina Football: Less than two days after entering transfer portal, former Gamecock commits to SEC rival

Former South Carolina football linebacker Grayson "Pup" Howard is on his way to an SEC rival less than two days after entering the transfer portal.

Former South Carolina football linebacker Pup Howard is on his way to the Florida Gators.
Former South Carolina football linebacker Pup Howard is on his way to the Florida Gators. / Juston Lewis/Florida Times-Union / USA
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South Carolina football fans learned on Tuesday night that Grayson "Pup" Howard, a 4-star in the class of 2023, was planning to leave the Gamecock program after just one year in Columbia. The linebacker announced that he was entering the transfer portal with a less-than-happy-sounding announcement on Twitter/X.

Some fans took this transfer portal announcement personally as Howard had once declared that he was looking to recruit other players to be Gamecocks who would "die for the University of South Carolina" (obviously a bit extreme). Then, after about a year since head coach Shane Beamer revealed Howard's proclamation, the young linebacker is gone.

Now, adding to the fanbase's frustration with the situation, just over 40 hours after that announcement, Howard has already announced his commitment to a new program.

The Jacksonville, Florida native is returning home to an SEC rival. After just one unproductive season as a Gamecock, Pup Howard is a Florida Gator.

Howard tallied just 9 solo tackles in 2023 after being put on multiple preseason Freshman All-American lists. As is true for many freshmen, he was not ready to play at the college level, seemingly struggling with play recognition and the speed of the game. Florida fans now hope that he will do some developing this offseason as the Gators will need as much help as they can get against what is sure to be the country's toughest schedule in 2024.

Howard is not the only South Carolina football defection to end up with an SEC rival this offseason. All-SEC wide receiver Juice Wells will be an Ole Miss Rebel next season, and former Mr. Football for the state of South Carolina Xzavier McLeod committed to the Georgia Bulldogs (and he has talked a lot about the Gamecocks in the process) after being dismissed from USC back in October.

With the updated SEC scheduling format for 2024, the Gamecocks will not play against Florida (Howard) or Georgia (McLeod) next season, but they will get a chance to see Wells and the Rebels at Williams-Brice Stadium next fall.

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