South Carolina is mixed up in a good, old-fashioned recruiting mystery as the Feb. 1 National Signing Day arrives, the type of recruiting case that has made the inexact science of recruiting so popular across the country.
It’s not a “who done it?” — but a “who won it?”
At Wednesday around 1 p.m., tight end Nyckoles Harbor of Washington, D.C., will announce his college decision, bringing to a close what has been one of the most intense recruiting sagas for Gamecock fans since Jadeveon Clowney in the 2011 class.
The family met Monday night discussing the final five options of South Carolina, Oregon, Maryland, Michigan and Miami. The hope, according to Harbor’s father, Azuka, was to make a decision Monday night so Nyck could relax for a day before the announcement. Didn’t happen.
“He’s not there. He’s almost there, but not there,” Azuka Harbor said midafternoon Tuesday.
Azuka Harbor said one major factor remaining in his son’s mind is where can he go and be in the best place for his mother.
“At the end of the day, all the schools checked out,” Harbor said. “Now, are you going to be able to leave your momma alone? That’s his problem now: ‘What do I do with my mother?’ The two of them are very close to each other. ... It’s going to boil down to where he’s going to fit comfortable at, where his mother is going to get there and stuff like that. I think that’s what it’s going to boil down to.”
Hearing from South Carolina
Mr. Harbor said they heard from coaches from each of the staffs Monday night, including USC defensive ends coach Sterling Lucas.
“He was checking in and seeing if there is any blank space that he didn’t fill out,” he said. “We talked to him a little bit and he came back to us with what we asked him to explain. He explained that to us and we’re OK.”
The family was set to reconvene Tuesday night to decide on the school — and to decide on how they will present the decision on ESPN Wednesday. And, Azuka Harbor said, he was not sure if his son would inform the winning school prior to making his announcement.
“I’m shaking,” Mr. Harbor said with a laugh. “I think that’s something we have to decide ... I’m just like, you guys can just go in and say where you’re going to play. Just make it proper. ... We’ve cultivated some relationships with all these coaches and had a good time with them. To tell them, ‘I’m not going to come to you,’ that’s one of the most difficult things for me in this process.”
How to watch Harbor’s commitment
What: Nyckoles Harbor’s commitment ceremony
Where: Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C.
When: 1 p.m. Wednesday (approximate)
Stream: Via WatchESPN or the ESPN app