Wide receivers coach Justin Stepp's unit lost a lot of talent over the previous two seasons as Josh Vann and Jalen Brooks made their ways to the NFL, Xavier Legette and Ahmarean Brown are headed there this offseason, and Juice Wells left the program via the transfer portal. In addition to those losses, the Gamecocks lost five more scholarship receivers to graduation or the transfer portal after the 2023 season ended.
Even though the Vanderbilt transfer hadn't been overly productive in college yet, it was a big deal for the program to add McGowan to go with fellow transfer Jared Brown (Coastal Carolina) and incoming freshmen Mazeo Bennett and Debron Gatling.
However, several days before National Signing Day, rumors began to circulate that McGowan was considering flipping to another program for a higher NIL offer. In the modern world of college football, that happens.
What doesn't often happen, though, is seeing a home-state kid flip from an SEC program to head north to Boston College just two weeks after making a commitment to "come home." It is especially puzzling when one considers that BC has not won 8 games since 2009 and has been ranked exactly one week since 2008.
McGowan has publicly denied the rumors about NIL playing a factor in his decision, but regardless of motivation, the speedy wideout will not be in garnet and black next season.
With McGowan off the board, the Gamecocks likely will be in the market for another wide receiver in the transfer portal. Luke Doty and Nyck Harbor are the only Gamecock receivers with more than 100 yards receiving in garnet and black (and neither of them have more than 200 career yards). Jared Brown is the only receiver with experience on the roster, having started the majority of two seasons at Coastal.
There is a lot of young talent at wide receiver on the South Carolina football roster. However, the coaching staff and fanbase both would be significantly more comfortable adding a proven receiver to the mix.