While the college football off-season doesn't officially begin until after the national championship is awarded this evening, the transfer carousel began today with the announcement of two Gamecocks that plan to continue their careers elsewhere.
A new beginning. Keep grinding because I got many reason. pic.twitter.com/2D0atBstor— Kaiwan Lewis (@LongLiveBillzy) January 12, 2015
Thank you God for the opportunity! It has been a blessing, but I will not be returning to SC for my last year. Ready to start my new Ch.— Mason Harris (@Mason_Harris34) January 12, 2015
Lewis, a junior from New Jersey, saw his playing time substantially reduced as the season went along, which included four straight games where he didn't play to end the season. Since he's graduated, he can transfer without sitting out a year. That, combined with his lack of playing time, likely played a major role in his decision.
Meanwhile, Harris, a junior from Georgia, similarly struggled to see the field despite the lack of production the Gamecocks received on the defensive line this year. He totaled just seven tackles, five of which came in the first four games of the season. After the win over Vanderbilt, he only recorded statistics against Kentucky and South Alabama, otherwise not touching the box score.
While the two transfers certainly hurt the Gamecocks from a depth perspective, they're a part of college football and cannot be said to be completely unexpected, given both players were upperclassmen not expected to play substantial minutes next season. That said, we wish them absolutely nothing but the best wherever and however they continue their careers, and thank them for their efforts as Gamecocks.