South Carolina made a big statement on National Signing Day.

The Gamecocks earned a commitment from 5-star athlete Nyckoles Harbor, who projects to be a big-time contributor at tight end as a true freshman.

His arrival fills a big need for South Carolina, as both Jaheim Bell (South Carolina) and Austin Stogner (Oklahoma) opted to transfer this offseason. He’s also the top-ranked signee of the Shane Beamer era so far.

Harbor is a major reason why South Carolina was named a “winner” of the February signing period by ESPN. Here’s some analysis from ESPN’s Tom Luginbill:

“This also sends a message that Shane Beamer and his staff can compete with the blue bloods for some of the nation’s top recruits. With so few prospects left on the board entering Wednesday, beating the likes of Oregon and USC at a needed position speaks volumes. Harbor is raw and needs development, but he may have the most elite blend of size (6-foot-5, 225 pounds), speed (10.28 100-meter) and overall skill in the entire class. If South Carolina didn’t have such a pressing need on offense, he could also have projected as an ideal fit at defensive end.”

Harbor is the No. 19 overall player and the No. 1 athlete in the country for the class of 2024, per 247Sports Composite rankings. South Carolina’s class ranks No. 16 nationally, per the rankings.

South Carolina will be hoping to take another step forward in 2023 in Year 3 under Beamer.