Nyckoles Harbor, ESPN's No. 39 recruit, commits to Gamecocks

Shane Beamer and South Carolina closed out the 2023 recruiting cycle Wednesday with the signing of four-star athlete Nyckoles Harbor, who is ranked No. 39 in the ESPN 300.

Harbor made his announcement on "College Football Live" on ESPN2.

"We've been prioritizing the triangle: athletics, academics and then just being there overall, like the feel of it," Harbor told ESPN in a phone interview. "A team has to have a great track and field program, great athletics and a great football team and then they got my attention. ... I've just been blessed to be put in this position where I can make the choice of whatever school I want to go to."

The product of Archbishop Carroll High School (Washington, D.C.) also considered LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Miami, USC and Oregon.

South Carolina has pulled in top-20 recruiting classes for seven straight seasons. This year's class ranked 16th -- seventh in the SEC -- entering the traditional signing period.

Harbor, the highest-ranked prospect to sign with the Gamecocks since defensive end Jordan Burch (No. 4 overall) in 2020, plans on suiting up as a wide receiver/tight end hybrid for South Carolina's offense.

South Carolina, ranked 13th in the SEC for total offense in 2021 after averaging 337.5 yards per game, rose to ninth last season with 378.8 yards per game.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Harbor recorded 45 tackles (29 solo) with 16.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks while also hauling in 15 receptions for 439 yards and five touchdowns during his senior season.

"Game-changer," Harbor said when asked to describe his skill set. "People haven't seen it since Megatron [former Georgia Tech and Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson]. I feel like I could be better than Megatron, just in terms of speed. I'm a little bit taller. I'm a little slimmer down.

"I'm looking at myself as just being a better Megatron. Just being myself overall because I'm just a game-changer like that. They're thinking I'm a game-changer that's going to come in ready to play and that's going to come in and try to win games."

Harbor wants to make an immediate impact on a program that has twice won eight games (2017 and 2022) since Steve Spurrier led the program to three straight 11-win seasons from 2011 to 2013. Harbor's exploits on the track have been well-documented. His recent times in the 60 meters (6.64 seconds), 100 meters (10.21), 200 meters (20.63) and 300 meters (33.90) are considered elite for someone his size.

Regardless of what transpires on the football field over the next three or four years, Harbor has his sights set on future Summer Olympic host cities Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028).

"That's one of my biggest goals," Harbor said. "I'm going to make sure I get to it."