South Carolina Football: First transfer signee is in as RB signs with Gamecocks

Of South Carolina football's large transfer portal recruiting class, South Carolina State running back Jawarn Howell was the first to make things official with the Gamecocks.

South Carolina football fans
South Carolina football fans / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Early Signing Period for college football began on Wednesday, and National Letters of Intent have been flying in from all over the country. While most of those NLIs are not sent in via fax machine anymore, commitments are not official until paperwork is completed. The South Carolina football program is hoping to have most of their class secured by the end of the Early Signing Period.

One of the players in the class who made things official is transfer portal running back Jawarn Howell.

Position: RB
Recruiting Ranking: Consensus unranked
Measurables: 6'1"; 225 pounds; 4.5-second 40-yard dash; 305-pound bench press; 505-pound squat
Former Player Comp: Cory Boyd

Jawarn Howell was dominant at South Carolina State in 2023. Despite just playing in 9 games, he led the MEAC in rushing (809 yards) and was second in all of FCS football in yards per carry (7.9 yards).

A running back who can do it all, Howell is big enough to break tackles, has good enough vision to avoid them, and he has enough speed to ensure that he isn't caught from behind when he gets into open space.

Howell's best traits are his patience, vision, and balance. It is rare that one player can bring him down as he has that natural "slipperiness" that makes it difficult for defenders to get a hand on him. Because he finds the right holes and doesn't go down easily, he is a safe bet to gain yardage, even when a play seems destined to go nowhere.

As a player, Howell runs like Cory Boyd. The former Gamecock was able to do just about anything you'd ask a running back to do, and that's the type of player Howell can develop into if things go well for him. Howell hasn't shown quite as much receiving ability as Boyd yet, but he had a 90-yard receiving touchdown last season that indicates he can do that, too.

Howell won't play early at Carolina unless something goes wrong ahead of him on the depth chart. That's not a shot at him, though, as he could be a very good player in Columbia. However, with Rocket Sanders and Oscar Adaway sure to be ahead of him early and young backs Djay Braswell and Matthew Fuller also on the roster, early playing time won't be easy to earn. With three years of eligibility remaining, Howell will have his time.

You can watch some of his highlights here.

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