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What turned out to be a successful season on the field, capped by the win against North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, has brought success off the field. South Carolina’s Shane Beamer was all smiles when speaking to the media this weekend, especially about their work in the transfer portal.
The Gamecocks landed two prominent players during the off-season from Oklahoma, with Spencer Rattler and TE Austin Stogner heading to Columbia. Getting help at the quarterback position was key for the Gamecocks, especially after a wild season of piecing together the position. We saw three quarterbacks in the regular season, four if you count the bowl game. Jason Brown has moved on and Shane Beamer announced on Saturday that Zeb Noland will move back into his spot as a Graduate Assistant. Now, with Luke Doty getting healthier and the addition of Spencer Rattler, this team has potential in 2022.
As for their arrivals in Columbia, Beamer mentioned that Rattler was “taking care of some loose ends” back in his home state of Arizona. But Rattler is expected to arrive in Columbia soon, according to Beamer.
The Gamecocks new tight end from Oklahoma, Austin Stogner, isn’t on campus right now either. But this one will take a little longer, with Shane Beamer mentioning that Stogner still has to finish some classes at Oklahoma this spring. This means the talented addition won’t arrive till after the Gamecocks go through spring practice, which shouldn’t effect him to much. Being familiar with the offense and the potential starting quarterback gives Stogner some time to learn from afar.
Along with the Oklahoma transfers, defensive lineman Terrell Dawkins (N.C. State), running back Christian Beal-Smith (Wake Forest) and wide receiver Antwane Wells (James Madison) will be a part of the Gamecocks roster in 2022.
The work isn’t done for this staff though, as they continue looking to the portal for help on both sides of the ball. Shane Beamer mentioned that they could add a few more players through spring practice and beyond.
“We’re not going to turn down a great player for sure. If there’s a great player we’ll pursue it. From that standpoint we’re wide open. If you look at December recruiting and what we needed to get done that we didn’t get done: defensive end, outside linebacker was a major need for us in December,” Beamer said.
“I would say it’s really flexible. We’re kind of looking for everything. There are two or three guys we’re talking to currently we’re trying to wait on them and make decisions,” Beamer added. “A lot of that will depend on when we go through spring practice and where we are. There’s always a flexibility of adding guys after spring practice as well like we did last year with Tyrese Ross. He came in the summertime.”
One of the things Shane Beamer enjoys most about the transfer portal is how different it is, compared to high school recruiting. He’s learned over the past year that he doesn’t need to pitch these potential players like they are 17 years old.
“Because they’ve been through the recruiting process before they’re very focused on what they want to see. They know what they’re looking for. They don’t need necessarily the glitz and glamor and to be wined and dined. They’re very much focused on, ‘Here’s what I’m looking for in a school and can you guys provide it to me?’ it’s very bottom line and a different conversation.”
During the basketball game on Saturday, the 2021 team was honored for their seven-win season, along with the bowl win over the TarHeels. Shane Beamer addressed the crowd, giving praise to the team for setting the tone for future success.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever have a group as special as these guys right here for what they accomplished this season. To go from two wins to seven wins to now listen; to not listen to the naysayers that assumed we wouldn’t even be in a bowl game; to have five come-from-behind victories during this season says everything that you need to know about these guys and what they’re about.”
This football program has enjoyed the last few months of success and it shows in the excitement from Beamer. He sounds like a coach who thinks the future is bright for this team, especially with the additions to the roster.
It won’t be a long offseason for fans of South Carolina, which is a welcomed sign, especially given what’s transpired over the previous years.