Wednesday marked the first day of college football’s early signing period. The period lasts through Friday.
Shane Beamer and his coaching staff put the finishing touches on their third recruiting class.
South Carolina’s in-progress 22-member class — which includes high school and junior college prospects — ranked 16th nationally to end the day in the 247Sports Composite team rankings. As of 6:30 pm, 21 of the committed prospects were officially signed.
SportsTalkSC’s Phil Kornblut reported via Twitter that USC “commitment DE Zavion Hardy said he won’t sign today, hopes to do so by end of week, waiting on word from NCAA Clearinghouse, not sure where he stands with them, if it’s a not for now, he’ll have to wait until February to sign.”
Vicari Swain, ATH (6:20 pm)
Four stars / 6-foot, 185 / Carrollton, Ga.
Swain was offered by Deion Sanders and Colorado recently, but kept his commitment to South Carolina. He tallied 10 total touchdowns in his senior season at Central High, with seven receiving, two from interception returns and one kickoff return. He caught 41 passes on offense and picked off six passes on defense.
Jalon Kilgore, DB (12:51 pm)
Four stars / 6-foot-1, 200 / Eatonton, Ga.
Kilgore is the No. 16 safety in 247Sports’ Class of 2023, and he also played some receiver at Putnam County. He recorded 71 tackles, five pass deflections and two interceptions as a senior. He also participated in track and field in high school, competing in the long jump, 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter events.
Desmond Umeozulu, DE (11:51 am)
Four stars / 6-foot-6, 240 / Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Umeozulu is ranked No. 17 at his position. He committed to South Carolina in August. Umeozulu attended Charles Herbert Flowers High School. He is noted for the athletic abilities he possesses with his frame that allows him to make plays.
Reid Mikeska, TE (10:12 am)
Four-star / 6-foot-6, 230 / Cypress, Texas
Mikeska originally committed to Miami in June but the Gamecocks were able to flip him just before early signing day. He had 21 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns this season for Bridgeland High School in Texas.
Zahbari Sandy, S (10:07 am)
Three stars / 6-foot-2, 200 / Washington, DC
Sandy starred at St John’s High, is the No. 4 player in Washington, DC and was recruited by Torrian Gray and Pete Lembo. He can play safety or cornerback, and is credited for his abilities in man coverage.
Monteque Rhames, DE (9:46 am)
Four stars / 6-foot-5, 240 / Sumter
Rhames is the No. 4 rated player in the state of South Carolina, per 247Sports. He was selected to represent the state in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas this year. Rhames played for Sumter High School before transferring to Manning High as a senior, and he helped lead the Monarchs to their first playoff win since 2011.
Connor Cox, TE (9:36 am)
Three stars / 6-foot-5, 223 / Jacksonville, Fla.
Cox attended The Bolles School and caught 30 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. He grew up playing lacrosse and is originally from North Carolina, according to 247Sports. He’s noted for his ability to work through zone defenses and “bail quarterbacks out” to make plays.
Kamron Sandlin, TE (8:39 p.m.)
Three stars / 6-foot-3, 220 / Anniston, Ala.
Sandlin is listed as an “athlete” by 247Sports, but he played quarterback at Anniston High School. He’s been projected as a tight end in college. Along with USC, Sandlin was recruited by Western Kentucky, Alcorn State, Austin Peay, and Georgia State.
Tyshawn Russell, WR (8:12 am)
Three stars / 6-foot-0, 170 / Harrisburg, Pa.
Russell totaled 61 catches, 1,334 yards and 22 touchdowns during his senior season at Bishop McDevitt. He was primarily recruited by Justin Stepp, and chose USC over Virginia Tech, Central Michigan and Maine. He’s the No. 24 prospect in Pennsylvania, according to 247Sports.
Markee Anderson, OL (8:09 am)
Four stars / 6-foot-4, 320 / Roebuck
Anderson attended Dorman High School, was ranked as the No. 2 player in the state and will play in the Under Armor All-American game next month. He committed to the Gamecocks in July and was recruited by Greg Adkins and Justin Stepp, according to 247Sports. He’s noted for his run blocking abilities, and he also participated in shot put as a track and field athlete.
Tosin “Tree” Babalade, OL (8:07 am)
Four-star / 6-foot-5, 320 pounds / Hyattsville, Md.
Babalade recommitted to Gamecocks after initially decommitted from program. He is the 22nd-best tackle prospect in the country and fifth-best prospect in Maryland.
CJ Adams, WR (7:59 am)
Three stars / 6-foot-2, 210 / Mableton, Ga.
Adams committed to USC in June after putting up 54 catches, 936 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior. Adams played both football and basketball for Pebblebrook High. He played quarterback as a sophomore, throwing for 1,428 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Elijah Davis, DL (7:53 am)
Four star / 6-foot-3, 262 pounds / Wagener, SC
South Carolina native was ranked the fourth-best junior college player — and No. 1 JUCO defensive lineman — by 247Sports Composite and played this year at East Mississippi Community College. He picked USC over Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn among others. Davis had 35 tackles and three sacks this season.
Jatavius Shivers, OL (7:50 am)
Three stars / 6-foot-6, 295 / Villa Rica, Ga.
Shivers attended Villa Rica High School and was ranked the No. 54 offensive tackle in the country in the Class of 2023. He played both the left and right tackle positions in high school, according to 247Sports.
Trovon Baugh, OL (7:35 am)
Four stars / 6-foot-4, 315 / Atlanta
Baugh attended Pace Academy in Atlanta. He had other SEC offers from Auburn and Arkansas. Baugh is an Under Armor All-American and a big frame fit for playing at the collegiate level.
Kelton Henderson, WR (7:33 am)
Three stars / 6-foot, 175 / Lehigh Acres, Fla.
Henderson was recruited to South Carolina as an athlete by Justin Stepp and Torrian Gray and signed Wednesday as a wide receiver. He played in the secondary and at receiver at Lehigh Senior High School. Henderson was also a track athlete, participating in the 100-meter dash and long jump. He’ll play in the Under Armor All-American game.
Judge Collier, DB (7:30 am)
Three stars / 6-foot-1, 190 / Rock Hill
Collier is listed as an athlete but played in the defensive backfield during his high school career. Collier also played a bit of offense, recording 19 catches for 330 yards and a touchdown in 2022 for Legion Collegiate. He was recruited by USC secondary coach Torrian Gray.
Dontavius ’Djay’ Braswell, RB (7:29 am)
Four stars / 5-foot-11, 200 / Sandersville, Ga.
Productive running back is the 23rd-ranked player from Georgia had a big senior season at Washington County High School. He rushed for 974 yards and 15 touchdowns while catching 29 passes for 375 yards and five scores. Braswell also runs track and was Class 2A 100- and 200-meter champion in the spring.
Xavier McLeod, DL (7:26 am)
Four stars / 6-foot-5, 300 / Camden
McLeod is the No. 4 overall player in South Carolina, according to 247Sports, and was the state of South Carolina’s Mr. Football. He picked the Gamecocks over Alabama, LSU, Miami and Michigan. McLeod is an Under Armor All-American. Brian Dohn of 247Sports believes McLeod has the “potential to be a mid-round NFL draft selection” after his college career.
Cameron Upshaw, S (7:23 am)
Three stars / 6-foot-1, 190 / Perry, Fla.
Upshaw joins the Gamecocks’ secondary unit for the Class of 2023. He played a little bit of quarterback as well during his junior year and had his senior year at Taylor County cut short due to injury. He was recruited by Torrian Gray to South Carolina.
Grayson Howard, LB (7:22 am)
Four stars / 6-foot-4, 225 / Jacksonville, Fla.
Howard played at Andrew Jackson High School and graduated this month. Howard said in a radio interview with 107.5 The Game that he would join the Gamecocks during bowl prep. He totaled 188 tackles, five sacks in his senior season and will play in the All-American Bowl next month.
South Carolina football 2023 commitment list
The following recruits were committed to the Gamecocks as of Wednesday morning and are expected to sign with the program Wednesday.
This story was originally published December 21, 2022 7:25 AM.