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Shane Beamer shares thoughts on Drew Tuazama's departure

On3 imageby:Wes Mitchell05/11/24

Wes Mitchell

Shane Beamer in Charleston for Welcome Home Tour - Wed. 5/8/24

Early this week South Carolina defensive lineman Drew Tuazama entered the transfer portal as a grad transfer, effectively ending his time in Columbia after just one season.

Head coach Shane Beamer was asked at the Charleston Welcome Home Tour event about Tuazama’s departure.

“Those are some things that, I thought, during spring practice were trending in that direction,” Beamer said. “Again, a situation where, good player that we were excited about. Still are excited about. Just wanted the opportunity to play a little bit more. He’s at a position where he’s worked at the EDGE position and the tackle position since he’s been in Columbia.”

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Tuazama joined the team during preseason camp last year hoping to make an impact at an EDGE spot that needed depth and difference-makers.

He ultimately moved back and forth between that spot and the interior while the Gamecocks used the offseason to add five-star freshman Dylan Stewart and transfers Kyle Kennard and Gilber Edmond at EDGE. It’s a similar situation on the interior where Carolina returns Boogie Huntley, T.J. Sanders, and Tonka Hemingway and also added Deandre Jules and Monkell Goodwine.

“And that’s a position where we brought in a lot of really good players either from high school recruiting or the transfer portal since January,” Beamer continued. “He’s in the mix with a lot of other guys at that position. I don’t want to speak for him but I think he felt like, Another opportunity here in front of me, I want to go somewhere where my role is a little more solidified than what it is here.”

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The Raleigh (N.C.) Knightdale product spent the 2023 season in Columbia after a year at UAB. During his one campaign in Columbia, Tuazama played in five games, logging one tackle. He originally joined the program last August as a defensive end, but would eventually move to defensive tackle.

After spending a season at Jireh Prep in North Carolina, Tuazama signed with Syracuse and was with the Orange for two seasons. He then moved on to East Mississippi Community College.

His 2022 season at UAB was the most productive of his college career; Tuazama earned honorable mention All-Conference USA honors after totaling 33 tackles and 5 sacks.

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