Wide receiver Antwane “Juice” Wells will return to South Carolina next year.
Wells announced via X (formerly known as Twitter) that he’s “not playing and not holding out for the NFL draft. I’ll be back next year…”
Coach Shane Beamer, in his weekly press conference Tuesday, was asked about the contents of that social media post and whether or not he was aware of it.
“I met with Juice a couple of times last week and over the weekend,” Beamer said. “The post that he had on X last night didn’t surprise me as far as what he announced.”
Beamer added that he doesn’t think Wells will play against Clemson this weekend — but he also wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up wanting to.
“If Juice decides he’s in the right frame of mind and it feels good physically and he wants to do that (play), great,” Beamer said. “But we’re not counting on that.”
On Sunday Beamer said Wells practiced last week and could play this Saturday against Clemson (7-4), where USC (5-6) is playing for in-state bragging rights as well as bowl eligibility.
Last season, his first with the team after transferring from James Madison, Wells led the Gamecocks with 68 catches for 928 yards and six touchdowns. He received 2023 preseason All-SEC and All-American nods. But this season he’s been limited to just three games, in which he snagged three receptions for 37 yards and one touchdown, due to a foot injury.
In Wells’ absence, senior wide receiver Xavier Legette became quarterback Spencer Rattler’s No. 1 target. Legette has 65 catches for 1,187 yards this season, which has earned him a coveted spot as one of 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists. His 1,100-plus receiving yards this year ranks second in program history behind only Alshon Jeffery. Legette also has recorded six 100-yard receiving games this year, which ties Sidney Rice (2005) for second in school history.
Clearing the air,
I’m not playing and not holding out for the NFL draft. I’ll be back next year…
— Antwane Wells (@juicew3lls) November 21, 2023
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) November 20, 2023
Next South Carolina football game
Who: South Carolina (5-6) vs. Clemson (7-4)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina
Streaming: SEC Network