The Gamecocks will be down one 6-foot-4 sophomore wide receiver when spring practice resumes next week.
Sophomore Kwinton Smith – 6-foot-4, 202 pounds – is no longer with the team. Smith, who caught five passes for 42 yards last season, was academically ineligible for Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl.
“May be back, may not be back,” coach Steve Spurrier said at the time. “It’s a pretty simple football program. It’s not hard. If one guy out of 100 doesn’t make it, maybe you see he wasn’t giving the effort.”
He played in 11 games, primarily on special teams, last year after redshirting as a true freshman out of Dillon High.
Smith was the No. 5 prospect in the state and a four-star recruit by 247Sports when he signed with USC in 2012 over Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU and others. He was part of a receivers class that included Shaq Roland and Jody Fuller.
Smith started a string of Dillon prospects to pick the Gamecocks. He was followed by offensive linemen Bryce King and D.J. Park in 2013 and fullback Joe Blue in 2014.
This spring Smith was third on the depth chart at one of the receiver spots behind Damiere Byrd and Nick Jones.
He was a 14th round selection as an outfielder by the Texas Rangers in the 2012 MLB Draft. He tried out in 2013 for the USC baseball team but did not make the final roster.