Rocket Sanders’ Body of Work
South Carolina got a big win on the recruiting front this weekend. The running back room was in much need of an upgrade after the departure of Mario Anderson via the portal. Former Arkansas running back Raheim “Rocket” Sanders committed to Shane Beamer on the Gamecocks on Saturday. His addition has been rumored among Gamecocks fans dating back to the 2022 portal cycle. Sanders is an immediate upgrade and will undoubtedly be the leader in a largely inexperienced running back room. The impact of this commitment cannot be overstated. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggians will have new opportunities with the Gamecocks landing a rocket running back.
Sanders was injured for half of the 2023 season, but a look at his numbers in 2022 speaks for his capabilities on the field. He rushed for 1,443 yards and ten touchdowns, averaging six and a half yards per carry. At 6-2 and over 240 pounds, Sanders is an imposing force when running downhill. He possesses the ability to be a three-down back. Over three seasons at Arkansas, he caught 49 passes for 455 yards and three touchdowns. South Carolina finished second for Sanders out of high school. Ironically, they were recruiting him as a wide receiver and lost the battle to then, Arkansas receivers coach Justin Stepp, who now coaches in the same role at South Carolina.
Loggains was also on the offensive staff, coaching tight ends, in 2022 at Arkansas. So, the Gamecocks’ offensive coordinator is more than familiar with Sanders’ abilities and just how to use him in the offense. The pairing of LaNorris Sellers and Sanders will likely look similar to the two-headed attack of KJ Jefferson and Sanders at Arkansas. In Sanders’s breakout season at Arkansas, Jefferson also had his strongest season in college. The addition of an experienced, proven back will relieve the pressure on the redshirt freshman Sellers in 2024.
The Gamecocks have their shiny, new rocket running back in Sanders, but Beamer will look to land more additions from the transfer portal. Stay tuned as we cover further additions in the coming days and weeks.