As transfer portal reopens, what are South Carolina football's potential needs?

South Carolina football still has a couple of holes on the roster. As the transfer portal window reopens, what needs do the Gamecocks still have?
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Football's Spring Transfer Portal Needs:
Starting-Level Veteran at LT

South Carolina has a lot of young talent on the roster. The 2023 recruiting class was one of the highest-rated classes in program history (though, several of those players are no longer with the team), and the 2024 class was a top-12 national class in terms of average player rating.

However, with the young talent, the Gamecock coaching staff will have to decide which positions will be manned by inexperienced players and which ones still need a veteran touch. The left tackle spot is one such position. Based on their transfer portal visitors in the winter, the Gamecocks were at least kicking the tires on a starting-level tackle.

Assuming that Vershon Lee plays inside (he has spent most of the spring at center but has experience at four of the five offensive line positions), the Gamecocks have lots of question marks at tackle.

Tree Babalade had an up-and-down season as the primary starter at left tackle in 2023. Sidney Fugar started some last season and really struggled. Cason Henry was the starter at right tackle in the season opener, but he has never been healthy for a long stretch of time. Jakai Moore has had some good and bad moments in his career as he has split time between guard and tackle.

Moore is probably the favorite to win the left tackle job if nothing changes, and Babalade spent much of last year as the man protecting Spencer Rattler's blindside and should be a factor in the job. Though both players are capable, they haven't shown consistent solid play at the position yet.

5-star freshman Josiah Thompson is the most talented tackle on the roster, and 4-star freshman Kam Pringle is another big-time talent. However, it would be best for the team if they could come along at their own pace instead of being thrust into action too early like Babalade was last season.

USC likely will have a lineman or two leave this spring, as well. If they can replace an outgoing scholarship with a tackle who could battle for a starting position this year (especially at left tackle), they probably would have to take the chance. It seems unlikely to find, but the Carolina coaching staff will have their eyes peeled.