USC Gamecocks Football

South Carolina enters race for former Clemson 5-star tailback Tavien Feaster

VIDEO: Spartanburg’s Tavien Feaster wins Mr. Football

Spartanburg running back Tavien Feaster was named Mr. Football on Thursday.
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Spartanburg running back Tavien Feaster was named Mr. Football on Thursday.

South Carolina football has offered former Clemson tailback and expected graduate transfer Tavien Feaster, he confirmed to The State on Friday afternoon.

Rivals reported the news first. He also had been linked to Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama by various reports. Feaster entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal last month.

He is expected to finish up classes and graduate during the summer.

Feaster ran for 1,330 yards and 15 touchdowns in his three seasons at Clemson. His best year was 2017, when he posted 669 at 6.3 yards per carry. Coming out of Spartanburg High School, he was the No. 29 player in the country in his class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings that factor in all recruiting networks. He was named the state’s Mr. Football after the 2015 season.

The Gamecocks certainly could use more dynamic talent in the backfield, and Feaster is nothing if not fast.

On Friday morning, Will Muschamp was asked about the possibility of adding to his roster with a graduate transfer.

“Any time you’ve got a chance to improve your roster, you try to,” Muschamp said. “That’s an everyday process for us.”

The Gamecocks currently have no open spaces in their 2019 class, having signed the full 25 players that can be counted toward it. They would, however, be able to add a player in August and count him toward the 2020 25-man initial scholarship limit.

Muschamp is set to return three of his top four rushers from each of the past two seasons. But from the group of A.J. Turner, Rico Dowdle and Mon Denson, no player has stepped up and taken control of the top running back spot. All three ran for between 294 and 654 yards last season.

South Carolina added a pair of August players last year, counting the scholarships for Josh Belk and Jamel Cook as part the 2019 class. They also added safeties J.T. Ibe and Nick Harvey, neither of whom had big impacts last season.

Feaster battled injuries last year with the Tigers and in the spring acknowledged that the 2018 season was tough on him. Had he returned to Clemson, he would be the only senior running back in the room and would battle for playing time with Travis Etienne, a junior who will open the season a likely Heisman candidate, and Lyn-J Dixon, a sophomore who led the team in yards per carry last season.

“As far as our running back situation, it’s not as good as it was before he left, that’s for sure, because he’s a great player,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said last week. “I think he’s second all-time in yards per carry for people who have at least 1,000 yards rushing. It just so happens Etienne, I think, is number one. But, you know, it’s just kind of a decision that he felt like he needed to make. ... It’s a big loss for us.”