South Carolina received huge news last week when quarterback Spencer Rattler and wide receiver Anthony Wells announced they were returning to Columbia for the 2023 season instead of declaring for the NFL Draft.
Both Rattler and Wells were huge reasons why the Gamecocks had the success they did during 2022, especially with the way they were able to cap the regular season with two top 10 wins over Tennessee and Clemson.
On Tuesday, Steven Lassan of Athlon Sports released his NFL Draft deadline winners and losers, and he placed the Gamecocks as one of his winners. Here is what Lassan said in his article about naming South Carolina one of his winners of the draft deadline.
“With quarterback Spencer Rattler and receiver Juice Wells returning, South Carolina has one of the top pass-catch combinations in the SEC, and a duo capable of pushing this team to a top-25 finish. Rattler seemed to find his rhythm late in the ’22 season, and former NFL assistant Dowell Loggains is tasked with elevating his game to the next level. The good news didn’t stop there for coach Shane Beamer. Wide receiver/all-purpose threat Dakereon Joyner and lineman Jaylen Nichols are also back on offense, while cornerback Marcellas Dial opted to return on defense.”
Wells will have a chance to be one of the top receivers in the SEC next season and in fact, Cole Cubelic, who is a college football analyst for the SEC Network, had this to say about Wells in a segment of McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning on Tuesday.
“Number one for me returning SEC wide receiver, if I could have one, would be Juice Wells from South Carolina,” Cubelic said. “68 (receptions) for 928 (yards) and six touchdowns. I think he gives you enough physicality. He gives you enough of a frame. Also, loose enough in the open field to be able to break tackles. Contested catches, I think he does it as well as anybody that we are going to talk about. For me, it would be Juice Wells at South Carolina.”
In 2022, Rattler threw for 3,026 yards and 18 touchdowns on 264-of-399 passing. His best game statistically came in the win against the Volunteers as he threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns on 30-of-37 passing.
Wells would tally the fifth most receiving yards in the SEC this season as he recorded 928 yards and six touchdowns on 68 receptions. Wells would also turn in his best game statistically against the Volunteers as he caught 11 passes for 177 yards while also tallying a rushing touchdown.