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Friday Night Notes: The Year of the Gamecock, Top 2024 recruit on the move again and more

USA TODAY High School Sports‘ Friday Night Notes is a weekly high school recruiting recap that looks at the latest news from around the country—from the Class of 2023 to ’24 and beyond.

South Carolina is on fire to start the new year. Over the last few weeks, head coach Shane Beamer has helped spearhead a recruiting surge that’s made Columbia the hottest destination in college football outside of Colorado.

The grand prize in this run has been getting the nation’s top uncommitted player to come on board. On Wednesday, top-ranked 2023 Athlete Nyckoles Harbor announced that he would attend South Carolina, dealing a blow to several other Power 5 programs in pursuit – including Michigan, Maryland and late-charging Oregon.

Harbor is just one of several blue-chip recruits that have signed on since the calendar flipped to 2023, though. Here’s who else they have picked up and where they now rank in this recruiting cycle and the next.

Woodland (SC) OT Kam Pringle

Ranked No. 46 overall and the No. 1 offensive tackle in the class of 2024, Pringle has literally been a massive (6-foot-7, 337 pounds) recruiter for the Gamecocks since committing on Jan. 22.

Here’s a look at Pringle pitching Harbor on Twitter:

Pringle had offers from 20 other schools, including Georgia, Clemson and Florida, which were the other main competitors.

Calvary Day (Ga.) TE Michael Smith

A couple days later, South Carolina also got a commitment from the No. 6 ranked tight end in the class in Smith (6-foot-4, 225 pounds). 30 other programs made Smith offers before he made his choice.

Greenville (SC) WR Mazeo Bennett

The latest recruit for Beamer and company just came in this morning when Bennett (6-foot-0, 180 pounds) announced for SC on Twitter:

Bennett is the third-ranked player in the state and is No. 31 among receivers in his class. He also had an offer from Tennessee and 22 all together, including most of the top programs in the SEC and ACC.

This all adds up to some serious momentum gained in the recruiting race. After adding Harbor, South Carolina’s recruiting class of 2023 now ranks No. 17 in the country. Their 2024 class is ranked No. 6 nationally.

4-star recruits commit to Auburn, Michigan

Sean Scherer, 247Sports

A few other programs managed to get commitments from four-star recruits on National Signing Day. Outside of Harbor the top prize of the day went to Arizona State, who got Pittsburg (Calif.) quarterback Jaden Rashada. Auburn and Michigan also picked up four-star recruits from the 2024 class.

Anniston (Ala.) CB Jayden Lewis: Auburn

Lewis (6-foot-0, 175 pounds) is ranked No. 24 at his position and No. 17 in the state of Alabama. He had offers from 18 other schools, including Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina.

Harper Woods (Mich.) ATH Jacob Oden: Michigan

Oden (6-foot-1, 188 pounds) is ranked the fifth best player in Michigan and No. 160 overall in his class. He was a very popular recruit, with 36 other programs extending offers.

Dylan Raiola to transfer HS

Photo: Blair Angulo, 247Sports

The top high school football player in the class of 2024 is Arizona quarterback Dylan Raiola, who’s already thrown a few curveballs during his recruitment. After initially committing to Ohio State back in May, he changed his mind and re-opened his recruitment in mid-December.

Now it appears that Raiola will also be changing high schools again.

After transferring from Burleson (Texas), Raiola played his Junior season at Chandler (Ariz.).

However, according to a report by Richard Obert at AZ Central, he’s in the process of transferring to Pinnacle (Ariz.). This past season Raiola led Chandler to a 9-3 record, while Pinnacle went 9-5.

As for what comes next after his final year of high school football, his father recently told 247Sports his recruitment is “wide open.” Raiola has offers from 26 college teams, with Georgia and Nebraska currently considered the frontrunners.

More recruiting news from around the USA TODAY Sports college wires

Cormani McClain

Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Colorado Buffaloes Wire

Colorado’s 2023 recruiting class sets multiple program records

Hawkeyes Wire

Everything Tyler Barnes said on National Signing Day about ’23 class

Rutgers Wire

Riley McCann on committing to Rutgers: ‘I knew it was the right decision’

Clemson Wire

Clemson Football’s final 2023 recruiting class

Razorbacks Wire

Every Arkansas player signed on National Signing Day

Trojans Wire

Walker Lyons stuns college football by landing at USC

Fighting Irish Wire

Notre Dame football sends out two offers on national signing day

Auburn Wire

Finally Official: Jeremiah Cobb signs with Auburn

Roll Tide Wire

Alabama offers younger brother of Jameis Winston

Wolverines Wire

Michigan makes top 4 for elite 2024 RB from Ohio

Ducks Wire

Major takeaways from Oregon’s strong close to 2023 recruiting class

Nittany Lions Wire

Penn State lands first commit in Class of 2025

Gators Wire

Florida signs 4-star OT commit on national signing day

Buckeyes Wire

Ohio State most likely making top 2024 offensive lineman’s list

Sooners Wire

Oklahoma offers 2024 4-Star TE Caleb Odom

Vols Wire

Quarterback Ryan Damron commits to Tennessee

UGA Wire

OT Jamal Meriweather signs with UGA football

Badgers Wire

Three-star defensive tackle recommits to Wisconsin

Spartans Wire

MSU lands commitment from 2023 DB Philipp Davis

LSU Tigers Wire

A look at LSU football’s full 2023 signing class

NEW! College Sports Wire

Way-too-early look at the 2024 football recruiting rankings

It might be time to do away with dual signing periods for football

Former five-star signee Sam Huard commits to Cal-Poly

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