South Carolina Gamecocks News: Transfer portal, recruiting, basketball updates, and more

The latest South Carolina Gamecocks news from the last week with a heavy dose of transfer portal and recruiting news.
Nov 19, 2011; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks mascot Cocky helps the team make their
Nov 19, 2011; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks mascot Cocky helps the team make their / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The latest South Carolina Gamecocks news of the last week, starting with a large serving of transfer portal updates.

The South Carolina football program is among the country's leaders in the transfer portal rankings as the Gamecocks have brought in a number of impact players through the portal.

The first transfer commitment came from Highland Community College defensive tackle Jerome Simmons. Simmons is a nose tackle who can plug up the middle of the defensive line and eat double teams. He will compete for playing time inside next season.

Next up was wide receiver Jared Brown from Coastal Carolina. Brown is a speedy and versatile player who can play out wide, in the slot, and carry the ball in the gadget run game. He likely will play a big role in the 2024 offense.

North Texas transfer running back Oscar Adaway committed third, and the 215-pound running back is a very similar player to the outgoing Mario Anderson. Adaway is part of the massive flip of the running back room and will be in line to get carries early in the season next year.

The fourth portal player to pledge to the South Carolina Gamecocks was former Arkansas Razorback Rocket Sanders. Sanders, who missed much of 2023 with injuries, was among the best running backs in the country in 2022 as he put up over 1700 yards from scrimmage. Sanders, if fully healthy, should be viewed as the presumed starter heading into next year.

The Gamecocks added another wide receiver in South Carolina native and former Vanderbilt Commodore Jayden McGowan. McGowan is very fast and should fill a similar role that Ahmarean Brown played in 2023. He will operate in the slot and can hit the defense deep or be involved in the quick game. The speedster also will factor into several special teams jobs.

Another big defensive lineman was next as Pittsburgh defection Deandre Jules committed on Wednesday. The big man weighs about 315 pounds but is athletic enough to play both nose tackle and 3-technique. In the 3-3-5, he would play nose (and could be the starter if things go well), and in the 4-2-5, he could play either spot depending on who is on the field with him.

The flip of the running back room was completed with the addition of South Carolina State product Jawarn Howell. Howell was one of the best freshmen in the country in 2023 as he was 2nd in all of FCS football in yards per carry. He is a good combination of size and speed and will compete for carries over the next several years.

Another defensive lineman, previous Georgia Tech EDGE rusher Kyle Kennard, committed this week, as well. Kennard will fill a need for the Gamecocks as USC was terrible rushing the passer in 2023, and the defensive end position, in particular, struggled with just 7.5 total sacks from the position. Kennard will get a chance to help change that.

Ball State 2022 Freshman All-American tight end Brady Hunt also will be joining the South Carolina football program. He is a big tight end (6'6" and 250 pounds) who had more yards receiving yards in 2022 than any Gamecock tight end since Hayden Hurst in 2017. He will be a good compliment to Josh Simon next fall.

Gerald Kilgore, the older brother of current Gamecock Jalon Kilgore, is leaving Tennessee Tech to become a Gamecock. A versatile defensive back like his brother, he still has three years of eligibility. Kilgore will contribute on special teams and could factor into the 2-deep in the secondary.

Former Vanderbilt quarterback AJ Swann has not announced his commitment, but several outlets have reported that he will be joining the South Carolina Gamecocks soon. Swann has starting experience and will provide some needed depth and competition for expected starter LaNorris Sellers.

After Kilgore, another #WelcomeHome message from Coach Beamer was teased out on Twitter/X, but it is unclear if Swann is that commitment or if it is another player.

Some former Gamecocks found new homes through the portal.

Wide receiver Juice Wells, after flirting with the idea of returning to Columbia, announced a commitment to Ole Miss.

Running back Mario Anderson will be a Memphis Tiger.

Kicker Mitch Jeter pledged his services to Notre Dame.

Offensive lineman JonDarius Morgan is returning home to Alabama to play for UAB.

Defensive tackle D'Andre Martin is moving up I-77 North and joining the Charlotte 49ers program.

Big defensive tackle Xzavier McLeod is expected to play with the Georgia Bulldogs, and wide receiver Landon Samson is believed to be returning to join one of the programs in the state of Texas. Quarterback Tanner Bailey has been linked to Auburn and is rumored to be joining the baseball team.

The rest of the portal Gamecocks are still searching for their new teams.

In the world of high school recruiting, there was a little news that involved the Gamecocks.

Class of 2024 wide receiver Debron Gatling, a long-time flip target for the South Carolina Gamecocks, decommitted from Texas A&M. The Gamecocks are one of several programs still vying for his new commitment.

Class of 2025 linebacker Mantrez Walker named a top-12 that included the Gamecocks.

Class of 2025 offensive line target David Sanders was bumped up to the top spot in the rankings according to Rivals. There are 5 or 6 teams that stand out for Sanders, and the South Carolina Gamecocks are among those teams.

A Gamecock freshman reeled in some honors.

Defensive back Jalon Kilgore was named a Freshman All-American by both 247Sports and ESPN.

The SEC released the full 2024 football schedules last week.

The Gamecocks' schedule is, as always, one of the most difficult in the country. You can read about the schedule here.

Lamont Paris' South Carolina basketball squad took a break for exams but still had one game last week.

The Gamecocks survived an ugly game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers to move to 9-1.

Dawn Staley's team also had a short exam break but won big on Saturday.

In a home game against Presbyterian, the Gamecocks won by 70 to become 10-0.

South Carolina baseball now knows their entire 2024 schedule.

The South Carolina Gamecocks' full schedule can be seen here.

A Gamecock baseball star was mocked as a future top-10 pick.

Ethan Petry, one of the top players in all of college baseball in 2023, was listed as a top-10 pick in Baseball America's 2025 mock draft. With a strong sophomore year in 2024 and junior season in 2025, that seems like a reasonable expectation for Petry.

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