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Former four-star prospect leaving South Carolina football program

South Carolina defensive back Keenan Nelson Jr. is entering the transfer portal, he announced via X (formerly Twitter) Friday.

“I would like to thank Coach Beamer, Coach Gray and the whole South Carolina coaching staff for taking me in and allowing me to play the game at a high level,” Nelson said in a statement, “I’ve learned a lot these last two years.”

Nelson appeared in 11 games with the Gamecocks last season, starting three. He was credited with nine tackles, including one tackle for loss. Nelson also blocked a punt, the first of his career, in the fourth quarter versus Vanderbilt and ran the ball 18 yards for a touchdown.

Nelson was a four-star prospect coming out of St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia. He was the No. 17 safety in the country, according to 247Sports Composite.

He is the fourth South Carolina player to announce he’s entering the portal this spring, joining offensive linemen Jaxon Hughes and Sidney Fugar and walk-on wide receiver Joseph Morris.

Nelson leaves USC with three years of eligibility remaining after appearing in just four games as a true freshman in 2022, including the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against Notre Dame.

South Carolina football players in the portal

  • OL Jaxon Hughes

  • OL Sidney Fugar

  • WR Joseph Morris

  • DB Keenan Nelson Jr.