South Carolina football's greatest moments from National Signing Day

Though the Early Signing Day has changed the landscape of recruiting, National Signing Day used to be the biggest non-gameday of the year. Let's look back at some of South Carolina football's top National Signing Day moments.

South Carolina football wide receiver Nyck Harbor when he chose the Gamecocks on last year's National Signing Day.
South Carolina football wide receiver Nyck Harbor when he chose the Gamecocks on last year's National Signing Day. / Jack Gruber-USA TODAY
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South Carolina Football's Top National Signing Day Moments:
Ricardo Hurley Became the Gamecocks' 1st Modern 5-Star

Recruiting rankings have evolved over the years. Players like Todd Ellis would have been considered 5-star talents had that been the normal way recruiting outlets rated players back in 1985. However, the modern system utilizing star ratings took off in 2002.

That year, the Gamecocks pulled in their first modern 5-star prospect in linebacker Ricardo Hurley. The Greenwood, South Carolina native picked the Gamecocks on National Signing Day but not without some dramatics.

Hurley took a visit to see the Florida Gators (the other perceived favorite in his recruitment) just days before NSD, and when it was time to make his announcement, he pulled a Florida jersey out of his bag. However, he set the jersey aside and removed his sweatshirt to reveal a Carolina jersey underneath.

Things didn't work out perfectly for Hurley at South Carolina, but he had a solid career. The perception-boost earned by the program when Coach Lou Holtz secured Hurley's commitment helped bring in another 5-star the following year (running back Demetris Summers) and several other important in-state prospects that became contributors in the early years of the Steve Spurrier era in Columbia.