The fall signing period started Nov. 8, meaning that it was the first day that high school student-athletes could formalize commitments to their chosen universities by signing National Letters of Intent.
Like hundreds of schools across the country, South Carolina got to see what the near future could look like for several of its teams as incoming freshmen signed NLIs.
Head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley and her staff continued building the program’s latest nationally-ranked recruiting class with the addition of guard Madisen McDaniel and post player Adhel Tac.
McDaniel, the first signing of Staley’s latest recruiting class, was named the 2022-23 MaxPreps Maryland Girls High School Basketball Player of the Year and the No. 12 recruit in the country, according to ESPN. She averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 assists and 5.2 steals per game during her junior season at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland.
“I love a point guard who plays to make others better without sacrificing her own talent as a playmaker, and Madisen is that,” Staley said. “She has court vision and the ability (to) shoot and get to the rim, but what sets her apart is that she makes good decisions in the moment and has team success as her top priority.”
Tac sat out her entire junior season of high school due to an injury, but she averaged 14.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game during her sophomore season and remains a top five post player in ESPN’s rankings.
“Adhel’s interior presence and high motor allow her to impact the game in some many ways,” Staley said. “She is more than a gifted basketball player, though, she is an exceptional person who we look forward to having in Columbia.”
The Gamecock men’s basketball team added two incoming freshmen to its roster for the 2024-25 season as part of its ongoing youth moment.
Forward Okku Federiko, rated as the No. 134 recruit in the class of 2024 by On3, is the top men’s college basketball recruit from Finland. He represented his home country at the 2023 FIBA European U20 Championship Division B and was teammates with current South Carolina freshman guard Morris Ugusuk at Drive Basketball Academy.
“Okku’s appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity in front of him is incredible for a young guy,” men's basketball head coach Lamont Paris said. “On the court, his offensive versatility and athletic fluidity make him an ideal fit for me as a coach.”
Guard Trent Noah, On3’s No. 141 prospect, earned honorable mention All-State honors as a freshman and averaged 26.5 points and 12.8 rebounds per game as a junior at Harlan County High School in Baxter, Kentucky.
“Trent is a ferocious competitor that has a passion and commitment to the game that is hard to find,” Paris said. “On the court, he is a supremely confident and a skilled shooter that has a great feel for the game.”
The South Carolina baseball team has received 20 verbal commitments from high school players in the class of 2024, according to Perfect Game, more than 10 of whom signed NLIs on Wednesday. Two of these players, Beau Hollins and Carson Messina, may be familiar to Gamecock fans because of their family ties to the program.
Hollins, a first baseman, will follow in the footsteps of his father and uncle when he plays for South Carolina. His uncle, Paul Hollins, was a Gamecock from 1978 to 1981, and his father, Dave Hollins played for South Carolina from 1985 to 1987 before a 12-year Major League Baseball career and appearance in the 1993 World Series. Beau Hollins was also a member of the River Bluff High School baseball team that captured a 5A state championship last season.
Messina, a pitcher from Summerville High School, will soon be teammates with his older brother Cole, who is a junior catcher on the Gamecock baseball team. Carson was recently listed as the No. 62 recruit in the country by Perfect Game.
Family ties carried over to the Gamecock women’s soccer team’s most recent recruiting class as well, which featured six new commitments, including the sister of a program alumna.
Defender Jyvanna Harris is the younger sister of Jyllissa Harris, a four-year starter at South Carolina who set an NCAA women’s soccer record with 9,395 career minutes played and now competes professionally for the Houston Dash of the National Women's Soccer League.
Jyvanna Harris, who was selected to the United States U-19 women’s national team pool and served as a team captain for her PDA Wolves youth travel team, said the family feel of the Gamecock women’s soccer program played a role in her decision.
“I chose USC because of how at home it made me feel. The environment of the campus and people are so vibrant and fun,” Harris said. “I also chose USC because of the competitive soccer and the atmosphere of the team. It feels like a true family and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
The South Carolina softball team also announced the signings of four players who are part of a recruiting class that ranks No. 11 in the country by Extra Inning Softball.
Three of these players — outfielder Nia McKnight (No. 17), two-way player Olivia Kotowski (No. 23) and middle infielder Shae Anderson (No. 43) — were listed as top-50 players nationally by the same outlet.
“Nia, Olivia, and Shae possess the work ethic, determination, and strength of character to excel at South Carolina,” softball head coach Beverly Smith said. “I am looking forward to unforgettable moments with them on the field.”