According to a report by 247Sports.com’s John Whittle, South Carolina Gamecocks’ starting defensive back Rico McWilliams elected to leave the program on Saturday.
McWilliams started 18 games for the Gamecocks in his first three years with the program, including 10 starts in 2015. Playing in all 12 games last season, the then-junior recorded 32 tackles to go along with two pass defenses and a fumble recovery.
Entering camp, he was the presumptive starter and was listed as such on the team’s preseason depth chart, but had reportedly been taking most of his reps with the second team nonetheless.
His departure follows McWilliams missing three days of practice from August 15 through 17 to spend time with his family affected by the flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though no family members were hurt in the flooding, they reportedly suffered extensive property damage and loss.
McWilliams then returned to the team Friday before departing for good the following day. With McWilliams’ departure, Chris Lammons and Rashad Fenton are the likely starters at cornerback for South Carolins with junior Jamarcus King listed as the team’s current third corner and a potential nickelback.
South Carolina opens their season on Thursday evening on the road against the Vanderbilt Commodores at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. The Gamecocks will enter the 2016-2017 season unranked in the both the Associated Press and Coaches Preseason polls.
The upcoming campaign will also serve as the school’s first season under new head coach, and former Florida Gators’ head coach, Will Muschamp.