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Insider Report – Latest on Gamecocks football, recruiting

4 min read
Insider Report – Latest on Gamecocks football, recruiting

— The spring NCAA transfer portal window for undergraduate players remains open until April 30, and that means there is still plenty to track for the Gamecocks football program.

USC had two players announce a transfer on Wednesday in defensive lineman Demetrius Watson and quarterback Braden Davis.

South Carolina’s quarterback room has become crowded from a scholarship standpoint, and something figured to give there sooner than later in terms of a defection.

Spencer Rattler has a firm handle on the starting position in his final season, and Tanner Bailey and LaNorris Sellers have seemed to pass others in the pecking order, too.

Watson, who graduated from Fort Dorchester in the Palmetto State, saw a bit of time as an EDGE player during the spring. He did not project to have a significant role going forward, so this move makes sense.

In addition to those two, we can tell you there is a possibility that there are other roster members who will decide to enter the portal prior to its close.

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We mentioned that the current window closes in a few days for undergraduates, which leads to this point: graduate transfers can enter at any point. That could be important context for the Gamecocks, as some potential targets could jump in after earning degrees in the summer.

Let’s now reset the board in terms of targets.

USC hosted a trio of players earlier this spring, and all of them have now committed to other programs.

Defensive tackle Tank Booker (Maryland) pledged to Arkansas, linebacker AJ Vongphachanh (Utah State) committed to BYU, and most recently EDGE Derrick McLendon (FSU) announced he’s heading to Colorado.

As On3 founder Shannon Terry has pointed out, NIL is more a factor for transfer players than even those coming out of high school. With McLendon, specifically, we know that it played a substantial role.

NIL is playing a role in HS to College recruiting, but nowhere to the degree, most believe. However, it is a driving force if not arguably the lead role in the Transfer Portal.

— Shannon Terry (@ShannonTerry) April 17, 2023

— There are still some prospects to watch out of the portal at this time.

One new name we have for subscribers is Southeast Missouri State defensive back’s Tyler Nelome.

The Georgia native has great size at 6-foot-3 and played corner at SEMO. Louisville, Washington, and West Virginia have offers out to him, and the Gamecocks are taking a look here.

A very intriguing entry jumped into the portal on Wednesday: South Carolina native Jatius Geer from Syracuse.

He played his high school ball at Belton Honea-Path and flew under the radar a bit from a recruiting standpoint. He broke out in 2022 as a redshirt freshman in the ACC, collecting 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

We anticipate South Carolina being a major factor here.

— Tulsa offensive line transfer Jaden Muskrat is someone we continue to hear for South Carolina as well. He was in Auburn over the weekend for a visit.

Another offensive line name we mentioned recently, Southern Cal’s Courtland Ford, committed to Kentucky.

— While we do not have indications just yet as to how things may be progressing, we do know that Penn State’s Keyvone Lee is someone to continue to monitor at running back.

[Get South Carolina football news and analysis via email]

— I had a chance to chat with South Carolina cornerback Marcellas Dial on Wednesday for an interview presented by Garnet Trust.

There were a couple notes that stood out to me during the conversation.

First, he brought up freshmen defensive backs Jalon Kilgore and Judge Collier as being players that did some really nice things during spring ball.

Kilgore’s inclusion is not surprising, given his four-star status as a prospect and some of the other returns we heard on his game during the spring.

Collier may be a forgotten man because he was more of an under-the-radar acquisition, but his size stood out to us during our viewing windows this spring. He carries some of the traits that we know defensive backs coach Torrian Gray likes, namely his length at cornerback.

Dial also was asked to name the offensive player he felt was ready to take his game to the next level. He mentioned Spencer Rattler. He felt Rattler has been “stingy” with the football while still making plays, noting that he believed Rattler probably only had a couple of turnovers all spring.

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