Juice Wells Set For South Carolina Return in 2024

    South Carolina receiver Juice Wells announced his return in 2024. What does that mean for the Gamecocks in 2024 and his draft stock in 2025?

    The South Carolina Gamecocks got a huge boost to its 2024 wide receiver room as Antwane “Juice” Wells announced his return. Some had speculated that Wells was holding out for the NFL, but the receiver has now squashed that rumor.

    Here, College Football Network examines the impact of Wells’ return, as well as, what the decision means for Wells in the future.

    What Juice Wells’ Return Means for South Carolina in 2024

    South Carolina loses QB Spencer Rattler after this season, and second-year QB LaNorris Sellers is the likely incumbent. The Gamecocks have some young talent in their wide receiver room, but before Wells’ return, they lacked an upperclassman leader.

    That leader in 2023 should undoubtedly be Wells.

    In Wells’ absence, WR Xavier Legette stepped up to lead the Gamecocks in receiving this season. His play has rocketed him into the first-round conversation. He’ll be in the NFL next season, so Wells represents a true veteran presence in the wide receiver room for Sellers.

    Wells’ return also marks a win for South Carolina’s NIL infrastructure.

    While the injury certainly dampens Wells’ immediate NFL prospects, he would have made a roster next season, had he chosen to pursue that. By returning, Wells is proof that South Carolina can retain some of its top playmakers, staving off approaches from both the NFL and other college programs.

    Why Has Wells Been Out?

    Wells was South Carolina’s leading receiver in 2022. He considered testing the NFL Draft waters after last season but opted to return to school. He injured his foot in summer workouts and was limited in the first three games.

    MORE: 2024 College Football Realignment

    Against Georgia, Wells broke multiple tackles on his way to his first touchdown of the year. However, he re-injured his foot on the play and hasn’t seen the field since. While he was never officially ruled out for the season, he was never healthy enough to play, prompting some people to speculate that he was holding out for the NFL Draft.

    In actuality, Wells’ injury has been finicky and can be re-aggravated if he tries to come back too soon, which is what likely happened the first time, but that is unconfirmed.

    What It Means for Wells in the 2025 NFL Draft

    According to a few sources close to the program, Wells got a late Day 2/early Day 3 grade from pro scouts last season. A second strong season at South Carolina would have given scouts more to consider and possibly pushed him into late first-round or second-round consideration.

    Leaving after a foot injury derailed his season would represent a huge risk for Wells, who has been passed by several budding receivers (including Legette) this season. His return gives him the opportunity to raise his stock again.

    If healthy, Wells should flash an improved route tree and overall skill set. If he does that for a complete season, Wells could jump back into the Day 2 conversation in the 2025 Draft amidst a weaker receiver class than this year’s group.

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

    Related Articles