As far as the South Carolina secondary is concerned, if one Kilgore is good, two could only be better.
Freshman safety Jalon Kilgore was one of the pleasant surprises this season for secondary coach Torrian Gray. Now his brother, safety Gerald Kilgore, is in the transfer portal after two years at Tennessee Tech, and Gray wants to pair the two in Columbia.
Gerald Kilgore (6-0, 202) was offered by the Gamecocks on Monday, and he will make a one-day official visit to USC on Saturday. He said he doesn’t need a full weekend because of his prior trips with his brother. As for what Gray has told him, it’s wide open for him should he join the Gamecocks.
“Just trying to fit me in where I can. Nothing is promised, of course,” Kilgore said. “They really like my talent, everything they saw on film. Obviously, Jalon played a big part in getting my talent noticed from them in particular, but they did their own evaluation of my film. They are really excited about me coming up there Saturday and taking advantage of the opportunity. Everything should be looking good if that’s where I decide to go.”
Kilgore also wants to spend as much time with Gray and head coach Shane Beamer. He’s known them through his brother, and now he wants them to get to know him for him.
“I’ve seen them and shook their hands a couple of times in the past, but that was on Jalon’s behalf, particularly,” Kilgore said. “This time it’s my go-around for my choosing what’s best for my career. Just relationships with coaches, a strong relationship, because that’s something that I feel like I haven’t really had since I’ve been here at Tennessee Tech.”
Kilgore was a quarterback coming out of high school and made the transition to the secondary at Tennessee Tech after redshirting his first season. This season he had 37 tackles with 2. 5 tackles for loss and five pass deflections. He feels he proved he can make the step up to a league like the SEC.
“Oh, most definitely,” he said. “I feel like a lot of guys looking at the experience that I’ve had on defense, in their opinion, wouldn’t think that I might be mentally ready. I know, me personally, I wouldn’t have gotten into the portal in the first place if I didn’t believe that I could be playing on the next level. I’m taking this chance on myself and everything is working out pretty good for me.”
While attending to his own career at Tennessee Tech, Kilgore kept as close an eye as possible in his brother and the Gamecocks this season. Despite the losing record, he sees a promising future.
“Watching Coach Beamer on Saturdays, watching how enthusiastic he is about the guys and about the game, and how much he wants to win, everybody wants to be a part of a program that wants to win. of course,” he said. “A lot of situations, you have to have your coaches which are driving that force for you to want to be there. I feel like Coach Beamer and the rest of the coaching staff provide a real good strong relationship, pushing the guys, allowing everybody to be themselves but also trying their best to bring the best out of everyone so they can win.”
One of the positives of the transfer rules is it can bring families back together. The Kilgore brothers went their separate ways, but according to Gerald, the two have always wanted to play together in college.
“Definitely,” Kilgore said. “Considering he ended up there and I ended up all the way in Tennessee, you would have never thought something like this would have come to the thought of happening, but it is right in front of our faces now. I’m trying my best not to base my decision what anybody else says, just trying to find the best place for me and build my name some place that I know can get me to the next level.”
While it certainly looks like all the pieces are in place for Kilgore to make a commitment to the Gamecocks on Saturday, he said he just wants to take one more visit to make sure he doesn’t shortchange himself this time around on the recruiting trail.
“I’m trying to plan at least one more to kind of get just another idea of where I really want to go,” he said. “Not to cut myself short by one opportunity and only seeing one place. I’m trying to be smart with it, try to make my decision within the next week or two. Right now I’m setting up a visit next weekend with West Virginia. I’ve had a bunch of schools hit me up, but just trying to see who is really interested.”
Other offers to come in for Kilgore since Monday include West Virginia, Ball State, ETSU, UTC, Tennessee State and Eastern Kentucky.
News and notes
▪ South Carolina remained active recruiting in the transfer portal Tuesday with more offers going out and more official visits being scheduled. GamecockCentral reported Pitt transfer DT DeAndre Jules (6-3 310) will take an official visit Dec. 12. Jules played in 37 games over four seasons with the Panthers and totaled 37 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
▪ GamecockCentral also reported Coastal Carolina transfer WR Jared Brown (6-0 190) will take an official visit to USC this coming weekend. This season Brown caught 58 passes for 740 yards and four touchdowns.
▪ Another receiver set to visit USC this weekend, per GamecockCentral, is Louisiana Tech transfer Cyrus Allen (6-1 180). This season he had 46 catches for 778 yards and four touchdowns.
▪ USC target Harvard transfer TE Tyler Neville was offered by UCLA. He made an official visit to Virginia last weekend and is scheduled to visit South Carolina this weekend per 247Sports.
▪ USC offered Indiana transfer WR Donaven McCulley (6-5 200). He was a quarterback in 2021 and then moved to receiver. In three seasons he caught 64 passes for 813 yards and seven touchdowns Penn State, N.C. State, Mississippi State and USF have also offered.
▪ USC offered Ball State transfer TE Brady Hunt (6-6 249). He missed all of this season with a foot injury. He came to Ball State as a quarterback.
▪ USC offered Michigan State transfer OG Kevin Wigenton (6-5 320). He spent three seasons with the Spartans and started six games this season. He’s also picked up offers from Vanderbilt, Pitt, Colorado, Rutgers, Illinois and Arizona State.
▪ USC offered San Jose State transfer OT Fernando Carmona Jr. (6-5 314). He’s a native of Las Vegas. He also has offers from Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas Tech, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Pitt. Carmona plays left tackle.
▪ USC is among several P5 offers for Vanderbilt transfer WR Will Sheppard.
▪ USC offered 2025 LB Mondricus Daniel of Roanoke, Virginia.