Rising redshirt sophomore Kelvin Rainey has decided to transfer from South Carolina, according to a report by Wes Mitchell of The Big Spur. Rainey participated in eight games during 2013 as a tight end and member of the special teams but did not record any statistics. He was listed fourth on the tight end depth chart at the beginning of spring practice and was unlikely to contribute in 2014, but he would have had a good shot at playing time in 2015 as a junior.
The Gamecocks are still very deep at tight end in the short term, provided that Steve Spurrier's recent comments about Rory Anderson's health are accurate. Anderson is a senior will definitely be gone after the 2014 season. Jerell Adams, a rising junior, could decide enter the NFL Draft a year early. If Adams leaves after the 2014 season, the Gamecocks would only have two scholarship tight ends, Drew Owens and Kevin Crosby, returning from the previous year.
That still leaves tight end coach Joe Robinson with plenty of talent to work with, but it likely solidifies that Crosby will not be moving to linebacker, which some believe to be the position he is best suited for. South Carolina picked up a 2015 commitment from three-star Kyle Markway on May 11 and is also pursuing three-star prospect Connor Redmond of Lawrenceville (Ga.) Acher.
Rainey's departure leaves the Gamecocks with 83 scholarship players, including the 2014 signees expected to arrive this summer and fall. South Carolina is limited to 82 scholarships this season, the final year of the NCAA sanctions imposed as a result of the investigation that begin with the Whitney Hotel scandal prior to the 2010 season. That leaves USC needing to shed one scholarship, which will likely come from one of a handful of signees who are not expected to be academically eligible to enroll at South Carolina this fall.