South Carolina football fans were stunned back in November when news broke that wide receiver Antwane "Juice" Wells was planning on entering the transfer portal. The Gamecock playmaker had missed most of the 2023 season dealing with a foot injury but had announced he would be returning in 2024. In hindsight, Wells never said he would be returning specifically to the University of South Carolina.
Instead, after an ugly breakup that included a social media temper tantrum, a golf cart repossession, and a haircut embargo, Wells wound up at the University of Mississippi. Moving across the SEC to play for head coach Lane Kiffin, Wells will have to deal with thunderous boos from South Carolina football fans next season when the Rebels travel to Columbia to take on his former team.
The vitriol will be ratcheted up to a high level for Wells as, even after all of the bad blood that had developed in the weeks after his announcement, he still flirted with the idea of returning to the South Carolina football program. In the end, though, it was best for all parties involved for the divorce to stay final.
In recent days, national recruiting service On3 ranked their top-10 SEC transfers from this offseason's transfer portal cycle (so far). Coming in at #9 on the list was Juice Wells.
7 of the top-10 are SEC-to-SEC transfers, and the Ole Miss Rebels are the clear winners of the portal, bringing in 3 of the players ranked, including Wells, defensive lineman Walter Nolan, and EDGE player Princely Emanmielen. South Carolina's large transfer portal class did not include any player on On3's list.
The Gamecocks losing a top-10 transfer and not bringing in any top-10 transfer might sound on the surface like a bad thing. However, South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his staff did a tremendous job in the transfer portal, and USC is a better team because of it. If On3's rankings extended to the top-25, fans could expect to see Carolina with a multitude of players ranked on the list.
Players like Rocket Sanders (running back, Arkansas), Jared Brown (wide receiver, Coastal Carolina), Gage Larvadain (wide receiver, Miami (OH)), Kyle Kennard (EDGE, Georgia Tech), Torricelli Simpkins (offensive lineman, North Carolina Central), Deandre Jules (defensive lineman, Pittsburgh), and Bangally Kamara (linebacker, Pittsburgh) should all play a big role for the Gamecocks in 2024.