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Former Raider McGowan set to transfer, USC offers

Former LDHS and Vanderbilt WR Jayden McGowan (Vanderbilt athletics photo)

Less than three days after announcing his intention to leave Vanderbilt via the NCAA’s transfer portal, former Laurens District High standout Jayden McGowan received offers from a pair of other Power 5 programs, including one very close to home.

McGowan, a three-star recruit at LDHS two years ago, announced that he had entered the transfer portal Friday on social media and followed that with another post Monday announcing an offer from South Carolina.

He also announced an offer from Indiana and new head coach Curt Cignetti, who the Hoosiers hired away from James Madison.

“It’s in God’s hands,” McGowan wrote on the post announcing his departure from Vanderbilt after two seasons.

The post, which included action photos of McGowan with the Commodores, read:

“I want to thank God for the opportunity and also Vanderbilt University for giving me the chance to play the game I love at the collegiate level. Thank you to all the coaches, staff members and teammates for the fun memories. I had fun playing my first two seasons at Vanderbilt, but it’s time for me to move on a new chapter in life. With that being said, I will be entering my name into the transfer portal. Thank you Commodore Nation.”

Working primarily as a slot receiver and kick returner, McGowan had 80 catches for 836 yards and three touchdowns in his two seasons as a starter at Vanderbilt. All three of his scores came in 2022 as a true freshman. He also totaled 845 return yards, which included a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Vandy’s 2022 season opener at Hawaii.

When McGowan finished his high school career, he was the fastest athlete in South Carolina and a state track champion with a 10.06-second time in the 100 meters and 21.6 seconds in the 200 meters.

McGowan, 5-8, 185, chose the Commodores over a handful of other Division I programs, including Army, Harvard and Richmond, but Vanderbilt was his only firm Power 5 offer when he signed in December of 2021.

The Commodores were 7-17 overall in McGowans two seasons.

In addition to McGowan, Vanderbilt sophomore quarterback A.J. Swann and fellow receiver Will Sheppard announced that they had entered the transfer portal.

McGowan will have two years of eligibility remaining following his transfer.

New book chronicles PC’s 1979 football season

A new book highlighting the 1979 Presbyterian College championship football team is available for pre-order through publisher Maudlin Pond Press.

The book, entitled, “The Southern Massacre: The Story of the 1979 Presbyterian College Blue Hose Football Team,” was researched and written by 1981 PC graduate Chip Porter and chronicles the ’79 season from historic and nostalgic perspectives.

“This book is a testament to a truly enduring bond of a team that, 44 years ago, played their most memorable game of an incredible season. And they’re still talking about it!” a release from the publisher read.

The 1979 Blue Hose team coached by the late Cally Gault went 11-2 and made it to the NAIA national semifinals, losing only to Wofford during the regular season and Central (Oklahoma) State in the playoffs.

The book is the first written by Porter, who has begun research for a second book on PC’s long-time “Bronze Derby” rivlary with Newberry College.

“The Southern Massacre” can be pre-ordered at MaudlinPond.com.

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