As it turns out, the last game for USC defensive tackle Zacch Pickens in a Gamecock uniform was played in Pickens County. Pickens announced to reporters covering the USC senior ring ceremony this morning that he will not play in the Gator Bowl and will begin preparing for the NFL Draft.
That wasn’t all the bad news for Gamecock fans Monday. Star running back MarShawn Lloyd has entered his name into the Transfer Portal according to several media outlets that monitor the database. Over the weekend Lloyd scrubbed his Twitter and Instagram pages of any mention of him being affiliated with USC.
Pickens and Lloyd are two more regular starters who will not be in uniform when the Gamecocks take on Notre Dame in Jacksonville December 30th. Tight end Austin Stogner has transferred to Oklahoma while tight end/running back Jaheim Bell announced Monday afternoon a transfer to Florida State which he visited over the weekend. And cornerback Cam Smith signed with an agent November 26th ending his eligibility.
The Gamecocks will also be without safety RJ Roderick, a starter in the season opener against Georgia State, but an injury sidelined him and he eventually decided not to return and to enter the Transfer Portal, tight end Traveon Kenion, who left the program while announcing he’s stepping way from football, and reserve cornerback Joey Hunter and reserve safety Tyrese Ross who plan to transfer.
In a November story, Pro Football Focus rated Pickens the #10 interior defensive lineman available in the draft. This season he had 42 tackles with 4 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. For his career Pickens totaled 131 tackles with 11.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
Lloyd came to USC in 2020 as a highly touted prospect from Dematha High in Washington, DC. The Delaware native missed his freshman season with an ACL injury. He played in 11 games in 2021 and 9 games this season. He leaves the Gamecocks having rushed for 801 yards and 10 touchdowns, and 21 receptions for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns.