With speculation running rampant about whether Juice Wells would return to action this week against rival Clemson, the South Carolina star wide receiver took to X/Twitter Monday night to try to provide an update on his status.
“Clearing the air, I’m not playing and not holding out for the NFL draft. I’ll be back next year…” Wells said.
Clearing the air,— Antwane Wells (@juicew3lls) November 21, 2023
I’m not playing and not holding out for the NFL draft. I’ll be back next year…
While Wells does not explicitly say it in the post, one can easily assume that the “I’m not playing” portion is referring to this week’s Clemson game. Wells also appears to indicate that he’s returning to South Carolina next year, something he has mentioned to several people behind closed doors in recent weeks.
Wells, South Carolina’s top receiver last season, has missed most of the season with a summer foot injury that has affected him for the entire campaign.
Despite the August injury, Wells played in South Carolina’s first three games and appeared to be getting close to his old self when he scored the first touchdown of a Week 4 matchup with Georgia.
But he had to exit to the locker room right after that score and Beamer told CBS then that they feared he had broken a bone in his foot.
Wells missed the next eight games and will apparently miss the regular season finale against Clemson as well.
A preseason All-SEC selection, the Richmond native emerged as quarterback Spencer Rattler’s top target last season, collecting a team-high 68 catches for 928 yards and six touchdowns. Wells elected in January to return to Columbia for another season after considering leaving for the NFL.
Prior to his arrival in Columbia, Wells spent two seasons at James Madison.
In his season year, Wells caught 83 passes for 1,250 yards and 15 touchdowns. Those numbers rank fourth (tied), third and first (tied), respectively, in all of FCS and broke the JMU school record in all three categories.
A Highland Springs graduate from Richmond, Va., Wells ranks third all-time at JMU in career receiving touchdowns (21), ninth in career receiving yards (1,853) and ninth in career receptions (116) in a little over a season and a half played.
Wells chose South Carolina over offers from UNC, Miami, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech.
Prior to Monday’s announcement from Wells, Beamer had last spoken about his receiver’s health on Sunday during his teleconference.
“There’s a chance (he could play against Clemson). We’ll see what happens,” Beamer said Sunday. “And, again, I know people think I’m, like, lying about this and just making up stuff. Like, there’s a chance. And we’ll see how the week goes. And if Juice was 100% done for the year, I would have announced that, like I do every single other injury that comes up throughout the season if it’s season ending. And that’s not where we are. We’ll see how he feels this week.”
The Gamecocks and Tigers will square off Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium at 7:30 p.m.