Sunday night the news broke that former Irmo star defensive end Trajan Jeffcoat (6-4 289) of Missouri had put his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal. This despite announcing on January 3rd that he would return to Mizzou for a fifth season.
Immediately, speculation heated up that Jeffcoat might be headed to USC. Adding to that, USC coach Shane Beamer issued one of his commitment alerts Sunday night.
If Jeffcoat does indeed land at USC, he can feel like a recruiting mistake was corrected. Jeffcoat drew moderate interest from the Will Muschamp staff, and no interest from the Dabo Swinney staff at Clemson, despite a senior season of 72 tackles, 13 sacks and 23 quarterback hurries.
Even a Shrine Bowl appearance didn’t impress the Gamecock and Tiger staffs. In the game, he recorded 4 tackles with half a sack and a tackle for loss.
Missouri turned out to be his biggest offer, Colorado State and Liberty were two others, and Jeffcoat went out to the other Columbia and proved just how unreliable recruiting rankings are, and how even the mostly highly regarded of recruiters can misjudge a prospect.
In 48 games for the Tigers, Jeffcoat totaled 84 tackles with 19 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. He also scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery, and that was against the Gamecocks in 2021.
Jeffcoat earned All-SEC honors following the 2020 season when he had 23 tackles with 6 tackles for loss and 6 sacks.
The Gamecocks have a void to fill at defensive end with the departures of Jordan Burch, Gilbur Edmond and Hot Rod Fitten from this season’s defense.