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South Carolina inching closer to the 85 scholarship limit

The transfer portal is alive and well.

NCAA Football: Duke’s Mayo Bowl-South Carolina at North Carolina Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

As mentioned in previous columns, transfers are needed for South Carolina to meet the 85 scholarship limit. With the spring game concluded and a more definitive depth chart established, eight additional players have entered the transfer portal.

Wide Receiver Sam Reynolds: Reynolds is from Alabaster, Alabama. He was a part of Shane Beamer’s first recruiting class, but was offered by and committed to the previous staff. When Beamer took the job, he honored all commitments in the 2021 class. Reynolds saw special teams action against UNC in the bowl game this past season.

Wide Receiver EJ Jenkins: Jenkins transferred to USC from St. Francis University along with former quarterback Jason Brown. Jenkins was originally recruited as a tight end, but ended up fulfilling a role at wide receiver. He struggled to see consistent playing time early in the 2021 season, but collected more time as the season progressed. Jenkins saved his best game for last, against UNC in the Mayo Bowl. Although he only had 1 catch for 7 yards in the Bowl game, Jenkins was a force blocking on the perimeter, helping spring multiple big runs.

Wide Receiver Eric Shaw: Shaw was a part of the 2020 recruiting class and hails from Notasulga, Alabama. He was recruited as a tight end, but had difficulty adding mass to assist in holding his ground against SEC defensive linemen. Shaw was moved to wide receiver during the 2021 season, but did not see any playing time. He had several opportunities to make plays in the 2022 spring game, but was unable to capitalize on them.

Wide Receiver Rico Powers: Powers was a part of the 2020 recruiting class and is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Powers played in two games and caught two passes for a total of 12 yards in 2021. With his departure, all 3 receivers from the 2020 recruiting class have transferred out.

Offensive Tackle Jazston Turnetine: Turnetine is originally from Stockbridge, Georgia, but enrolled at Carolina via way of Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. He was a part of the 2020 recruiting class and started 7 games in 2021 while participating in 11. Turnetine is a massive offensive tackle that struggled against speed rushers coming off the edge and often had issues making it to the second level when run blocking. Carolina’s pro style offense requires offensive linemen who are agile and run well. Unfortunately, Turnetine is no longer a fit within South Carolina’s blocking schemes.

Defensive Tackle Will Rogers: Rogers was a part of the 2019 recruiting class and hails from Hampton, Georgia. He was recruited as an offensive lineman, but flipped to defensive line for depth purposes. Rogers did not see any playing time in the 2021 season.

Defensive Tackle Keem Green: Green is originally from Sumter, South Carolina and transferred to USC from the University of Nebraska. He did not see the field in 2021 and found himself a part of a deep defensive tackle rotation heading into 2022.

Defensive Tackle DeVontae Davis: Davis is originally from Silver Bluff, South Carolina and was a part of the 2019 recruiting class, enrolling from Georgia Military College. He played in 8 games in 2021 and collected 4 total tackles.

Previous 2021 departures and their new schools:

LB - Kolbe Fields (2021 class) - Louisiana State

QB - Jason Brown (2021 class) - Virginia Tech

CB - Karon Prunty (2021 class) - North Carolina A&T

CB - Dominick Hill (2020 class) - Temple

WR - Ger-Cari Caldwell (2020 class) - Still in transfer portal

TE - Keveon Mullins (2019 class) - Jackson State

OL - Vincent Murphy (2019 class) - Western Kentucky

LB - Jahmar Brown (2019 class) - Coastal Carolina

LB - Rosendo Louis (2018 class) - Still in transfer portal

WR - OrTre Smith (2017 class) - North Carolina Central

OL - Jordan Rhodes (2017 class) - Ole Miss

As Shane Beamer continues to reshape the roster to his liking, the 2019 recruiting class now stands at 7 players on the current roster. The 2019 class was rated 19th overall by Rivals and had 22 commitments. Players that have not transferred out from the 2019 class are listed below.

WR - Xavier Leggette

TE - Traevon Kenion

OL - Jaylen Nichols

OL - Jakai Moore

DE - Hot Rod Fitten

DT - Zacch Pickens

CB - Cam Smith

Note: RB Kevin Harris did not transfer, but opted to enter the NFL Draft.

There are certainly some young talented players transferring out, but due to South Carolina bringing in one of the best transfer classes in 2022 along with a strong high school recruiting class, transitions needed to be made. South Carolina now sits very close to the 85 scholarship limit, but that does not mean this staff will sit idle if another player enters the portal who they feel is a strong fit. Although the max 32 scholarships for 2022 have been offered, blueshirt opportunities still exist.