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Travelle Wharton Adjusting to "Home"

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wharton_travelle.jpgFor the past eight seasons, former Gamecock offensive lineman Travelle Wharton has been able to enjoy living and working less than two hours away from his hometown of Fountain Inn, SC, a relative rarity in the NFL. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2004 and had been with the Charlotte-based franchise ever since until this spring. 

With their salary cap number looming, the Panthers chose to release Wharton, who was quickly signed by the Cincinnati Bengals, a team with a lot more cap room to maneuver within. On the surface, a move so far from home would seem like a negative. But, as it turns out, Cincinnati is almost just as much a home for Wharton as the Carolinas. After World War II his grandmother's side of the family left the South for Cincinnati and he has had family reunions both in Ohio and South Carolina his entire life.

"It's funny how life is and comes full circle," said Wharton. "All the aunts, grandparents, everybody is up there [laughing], I have a lot of cousins. They've been calling and bragging to people that I'll be up there and they can get to see me play."

While there are no other Gamecocks currently on the Bengals' roster besides Wharton, he says he still knows quite a few of the players from his time in the league.

"They have a lot of guys who are originally from South Carolina. They keep their Carolina connection," Wharton said.

After visiting the South Carolina campus some this spring, including the football team's recent Pro Timing Day, Wharton headed to Cincinnati for off-season workouts. His wife Kashema, a fellow Gamecock grad, and their three daughters, ages six, three and one, plan to join him there once the school year is out.

Even farther away with his family in Cincy, the Whartons will always be a part of the Gamecock family!

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