New South Carolina wide receivers coach James Coley inherits a position group that will look much different than the one that saw Xavier Legette emerge last year as the Gamecocks’ top option and one of the SEC’s best receivers.
Gone is Legette (to the NFL), as is Juice Wells, who transferred to Ole Miss this offseason after a breakout 2022 season followed by a 2023 that was derailed by injuries.
A trio of newcomer transfers — Jared Brown (Coastal Carolina), Gage Larvadain (Miami (Oh.)), and Ahmari Huggins-Bruce (Louisville) — will be heavily counted on to help replace their production from the last couple of years.
“I think the biggest thing that stood out with those guys is just how productive they were at the place they’re coming from,” South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer told GamecockCentral. “Athletic, twitchy, productive guys is what I see from all three of those guys. Really good kids, obviously. You know, Ahmari and Jared had a little bit more of a local connection, having been either from South Carolina or Georgia or playing in South Carolina in college. Gage a little bit more from the outside. But both those guys — really all three of those guys — really productive that have caught a lot of balls in their time and made a lot of plays where they’re coming from.”
The 6-foot, 190-pound Brown collected 108 receptions for 1,534 yards and 11 touchdowns in 27 games at Coastal. He also added 439 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
In three seasons at Louisville, Huggins-Bruce collected 80 catches for 1,121 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Larvadain leads the trio with 138 career receptions for 1,931 yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons, two at Southeastern Louisiana and another at Miami (Oh.).
For perspective, South Carolina’s leading returning receiver isn’t a wide receiver at all but senior tight end Joshua Simon, who has 114 career catches for 1,402 yards with 17 touchdowns, most of which came when the former transfer was at Western Kentucky. Last season, the Dalzell, S.C. native’s first with Carolina, Simon hauled in 28 passes for 256 yards and two TDs.
Among Carolina’s wide receivers, Nyck Harbor is the leading returner in receiving yards with 195 yards on 12 catches, all as a freshman last season.
Quarterback-turned-wide-receiver Luke Doty, who is officially listed as an “athlete” on the roster but will spend most of the spring with the receivers, is the leader in receptions with 13.