Signing week: Horn's 2nd class special

Signing week is here, and the Gamecocks are poised for arguably the school's best recruiting class ever. Coach Darrin Horn's second class at USC ranks tenth nationally and first among SEC schools in Scout.com's basketball recruiting rankings.


There's excitement glowing from the coaches, players, community and recruits. Even prospects who the Gamecocks missed out on — like 2010 recruit Stacey Poole — only have glowing things to say about the direction of the South Carolina program.

"Coach Horn is doing a wonderful job down there," Poole said of Carolina.

However, for the Gamecocks, committed and signing in the early signing period are point guards Bruce Ellington and Eric Smith, wing Brian Richardson and big men R.J. Slawson and Damontre Harris.

"I'm looking forward to playing for the Gamecocks," Slawson, the nation's No. 15 ranked power forward, said emphatically this week. "I'm signing Friday."

Richardson's high school coach gave GamecockAnthem.com confirmation that the three-star sharpshooter will be signing on Wednesday, along with future teammates Harris and Smith.

Harris, a dominating presence in the post, confirmed that he will be signing on Wednesday, and he is thrilled to cement his future in the garnet and black.

"Yes sir, I'm going to sign Wednesday," said Harris, the nation's No. 10 ranked center prospect. "I'm just happy that all that hard work paid off, and I'm just ready to get to South Carolina and start ballin'."

The excitement echoed from Smith after a 95-79 season-opening win for Christ School (N.C.) over Quality Education (N.C.) on Tuesday.

"I'm definitely going to sign tomorrow," Smith said. "I'm looking forward to that. It's going to be real exciting. I've been waiting on it a long time, and it's finally here."

Also signing this week will be Ellington, a late bloomer in the 2010 class. Ellington, the 12th ranked point guard on Scout.com, went from a little known backcourt prospect to a dynamic, top-fifty player nationally over the summer, and he is one of the headliners of USC's class.

South Carolina coach Darrin Horn's impressive haul only comes from two states.

Ellington and Slawson are South Carolina natives, and Harris and Richardson both reside in North Carolina. Smith now plays his ball at a prep school in North Carolina, but he's originally from South Carolina, which means the Gamecocks picked up the three highest-rated in-state players.

"I'm real excited," Smith said. "I know we've got a lot of good players coming in, and I know we've got a good team. I'm just ready to play. We're gonna win some games, I know that."

The excitement is exuding, and people around the program and nation can feel it.

"I talked to coach Horn Yesterday," Slawson said. He said he's looking forward to me signing, and I'm looking forward to it too."

Stay tuned to GamecockAnthem.com for an analysis of each player and what they mean to South Carolina's program, as well as a quick peek into the future classes for the Gamecocks.

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