COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 12: D.J. Swearinger #36 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after making a defensive stop against the Florida Gators during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Earlier this month, I looked ahead to the Gamecock football team's 2012 roster situation and the incoming recruiting class, and I speculated about what would need to happen in order for South Carolina to stay at or below the NCAA-mandated 85 scholarship limit. I concluded that we would need a combination of about seven current players leaving the program or recruits failing to qualify.
At the time I made that post, Steve Spurrier's staff had 84 players on scholarship. But now that word has come out this week that defensive backs Martay Mattox and Corey Addison will be transferring out of the program, they're down to 82.
So here's an update on my very roughly estimated likelihood on which underclassmen will be leaving:
I slightly downgraded Swearinger's and Holloman's chances of declaring for the NFL draft since diminished prospects of future playing time probably played a role in the decisions of Mattox and Addison decisions to transfer.
After adding Mattox and Addison to the 11 seniors who will have exhausted their eligibility, we now have 13 scholarships that will be freed up after the Capital One Bowl, which gives us 14 available scholarships. After subtracting an estimated 6 non-bold players from the list above, we should have 20 - which is the current number of prospects verbally committed to sign letters of intent with South Carolina on February 1st. However, as most of you know, there's a strong possibility that we could end up signing the maximum of 25. And because the Stadnik twins, Jerell Adams, and Kelvin Rainey will be early enrollees, eligible to be counted toward last year's class, we could actually sign as many as 29.
So that leaves us needing to shed somewhere between five and nine additional scholarships. I'll keep you posted.