South Carolina cornerback Ahmad Christian will seek a transfer

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Gamecocks' only experienced backup cornerback and projected 2014 starter is no longer with the program.

Sophomore cornerback Ahmad Christian is seeking a transfer and will not play in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, according to a report by The State newspaper.

Unfortunately for Christian, he will be best remembered by South Carolina fans as the player covering Marquez North when Tennessee's true freshman receiver hauled in a 39-yard pass from Justin Worley that set up the Volunteers' 23-21 win over the Gamecocks. That legacy may be unfair, considering that Christian had North perfectly covered and was otherwise a positive contributor with a bright future.

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Christian's departure means that the Gamecocks will be replacing 75 percent of their two-deep at cornerback in 2014. Rising redshirt sophomore Rico McWilliams, the remaining 25 percent, got his lone start against Arkansas in the wake of Victor Hampton's "freelancing" game against Kentucky.

The only other returning cornerbacks on the roster are current true freshman Ali Groves, junior college transfer Ronnie Martin, and redshirt junior and former walk-on Sidney Rhodes. Neither Groves nor Martin have played in 2013, and Rhodes has mostly contributed as a special teams player. True freshman running back Jamari Smith was recruited as a cornerback but was moved to running back in fall practice.

Following Wesley Green's decommitment in September, Al Harris, Jr. is the only 2014 cornerback prospect who has pledged to sign with the Gamecocks. South Carolina is still in the mix with Green, D.J. Smith, and a handful of others, so there's still a chance that USC could finish with a strong class of defensive backs. But, regardless of how strongly the South Carolina finishes out its recruiting class, the Gamecocks will be breaking in a lot of inexperienced players in the secondary next season.

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