South Carolina football DB Cam Smith declares for NFL Draft, forgoing senior year

COLUMBIA — South Carolina star defensive back Cam Smith announced on Twitter his intention to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft, forgoing his senior season of eligibility with the Gamecocks.

The 6-foot, 188-pound Smith is widely projected as a first- or second-round pick in the draft. He was a preseason All-America selection in 2022 and was named to the 2021 All-SEC second team by The Associated Press and Pro Football Focus. The redshirt junior did not specify in his post whether he planned to play in South Carolina's bowl game.

"The University of South Carolina has allowed me to have the best experience both in the classroom and on the football field. I want to thank Coach (Shane) Beamer for believing in me and helping me prepare for the next step in my life," Smith wrote in his Twitter post. "I am eager to pursue my dreams of playing in the NFL, but I will always be a Gamecock."

Smith started every game this season for South Carolina except for the Georgia game, which he missed with a concussion. He recorded 27 tackles, 23 of which were solo, plus six pass breakups and an interception. He concludes his career with the Gamecocks with 91 tackles, six interceptions and 24 pass breakups.

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Smith is the first member of South Carolina's 2022 roster to declare for the draft, though there are several others who might join him. Quarterback Spencer Rattler also has another year of eligibility remaining and has yet to announce a decision about his future.

The Gamecocks have two players entering the transfer portal, which opens Monday. Senior defensive back R.J. Roderick, who saw limited reps while dealing with an arm injury early in the season, announced his intention to transfer and has not been with the team since the open week in Week 7. Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jordan Davis also plans to enter the portal.

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Cam Smith declares for 2023 NFL Draft, leaves South Carolina football