Call it a nice Christmas present for Will Muschamp and Gamecocks football fans. Cornerback Jaylan Foster announced yesterday that he will transfer from FCS Gardner-Webb to South Carolina, and will be eligible to play after sitting out 2017 due to NCAA regulations. At South Carolina, Foster will be reunited with Bobby Bentley, his former coach at Byrnes High School in Spartanburg.
Foster is no slouch despite playing in FCS last year. He recorded five picks (one of which was returned for a touchdown) and 45 tackles with the Runnin’ Bulldogs in 2016, helping him garner Big South Freshman of the Year honors. Foster’s five interceptions put him into a tie for third nationally among all players in FCS; for perspective, T.J. Holloman, Jamarcus King and Chris Lammons had three each. He also forced two fumbles, returning one for a score. One part of the stat sheet where Foster didn’t show up for Gardner-Webb was in the special teams department, but he certainly showcased his speed at returning the ball in high school.
Foster won’t be available for another year, but his transfer helps the Gamecocks add another key part to their backfield. With corners Chris Lammons and Jamarcus King graduating in 2017, the redshirt year will help Foster get stronger, adjust to the different style of play of SEC football, and prepare himself to step onto the field in 2018. Add the potential of adding other players like 2018 recruits Xavier Thomas, Dakereon Joyner and Josh Belk to a core that includes current players like Jake Bentley, Rico Dowdle and Deebo Samuel and incoming 2017 commits Hamsah Nasirildeen, OrTre Smith, Shi Smith, MJ Webb and Jamyest Williams, and things might be setting up for a very good future for South Carolina football in the next couple of years.
What does this mean for Yusuf Corker?
With a pair of JUCOs in the fold (Kaleb Chalmers and Keisean Nixon) that can play immediately, Williams and Tavyn Jackson coming in 2017 and Foster entering in 2018, I doubt the Gamecocks will grab him. He has already been showing as a Tennessee lean, but with Foster transferring in, this pretty much seals the deal for him heading elsewhere. The only other CBs the Gamecocks were targeting in this cycle were Zyon Gilbert, Ameer Speed and Brad Stewart, but Speed’s top five didn’t include Carolina and Stewart’s three January visits won’t include a trip to Columbia.