South Carolina Football: Talented young player enters transfer portal at the last minute

South Carolina football linebacker Grayson "Pup" Howard is transferring from the Gamecocks.
South Carolina football linebacker Grayson "Pup" Howard
South Carolina football linebacker Grayson "Pup" Howard / Juston Lewis/Florida Times-Union / USA

South Carolina football fans thought their team might be done with transfer portal exits as the portal closes at the end of the day on Tuesday. However, at the last minute on Tuesday night, another Gamecock announced his intentions to leave the program through the transfer portal.

Linebacker Grayson "Pup" Howard posted on Twitter/X that he was making a decision that is "never easy, but necessary" by entering his name into the transfer portal.

Howard was a 4-star prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, and he seemed to be one of the most dedicated Gamecocks on the team before he ever officially enrolled at the University of South Carolina. After one year of less-than-ideal production, Howard is no longer a Gamecock.

For the season, Howard made just 18 tackles in limited playing time. Though seemingly poised for a lot of playing time in garnet and black as a freshman, it was apparent that the Jacksonville native was not ready for a large workload.

It is unclear at this time where Howard might be headed (if he has a plan in place, at all), but there had been rumors about his potential departure over the past several weeks. Schools close to home, especially the University of Florida, make a lot of sense as a landing spot for Howard.

Though he played timidly during his freshman campaign, Howard is still a talented player who has a chance to develop into a good linebacker at the college level.

With Howard's departure and Stone Blanton's transfer, the Gamecocks have a much clearer picture at the linebacker picture. Debo Williams and Bam Martin-Scott will start, and if Carolina continues playing the 3-3-5, athletic redshirt sophomore Jaron Willis will battle with Mo Kaba (if he recovers well from his torn ACL) and incoming 4-star freshmen Fred "JayR" Johnson and Wendell Gregory. The team also has several walk-ons that they like as players.

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