South Carolina has dipped back into the transfer portal to add another tight end, as former East Tennessee State standout Nate Adkins announced Tuesday that he will play his final season for the Gamecocks.
Adkins, a two-time All-Southern Conference selection at ETSU, received interest from multiple SEC schools, including Alabama and LSU. He joins his father, Greg Adkins, who's entering his second season as South Carolina's offensive line coach.
The Gamecocks have hit the transfer portal hard this offseason, and the addition of Adkins makes them especially deep at the tight end/H-back positions. Adkins, who is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, is a bruising blocker but also had 73 catches for 749 yards and four touchdowns during his career at ETSU. During the FCS playoffs last season, Adkins made several acrobatic catches in the 32-31 second-round win over Kennesaw State, and his 2-point conversion catch proved to be the game winner for the Bucs.
Adkins will join Oklahoma transfer Austin Stogner at tight end along with Jaheim Bell, who tied for the team lead with five touchdown catches last season. The Gamecocks plan to use Bell in several spots in 2022, including splitting him out wide. He averaged 16.6 yards per catch a year ago. Each of the Gamecocks' three tight ends is a little bit different. Stogner is an excellent route runner and caught eight touchdown passes during his three seasons at OU, while Adkins' blocking ability means he could also see some action in a fullback role. Special teams is another area where Adkins could be a key contributor.
Adkins played his high school football at Bearden High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was named to the Southern Conference Honor Roll every year he was at ETSU.