Another Geathers joins USC

Carlton Geathers averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocks a game this past season for Carvers Bay High School.

COLUMBIA -- Just as one member of the athletic Geathers family is leaving South Carolina's sports program, another will take his place.

Clifton will take part in the NFL draft later this month, having left the Gamecocks football team after his junior season. Meanwhile, USC announced Wednesday that his cousin, Carlton, will join the basketball team this summer.

"I'm excited to be a member of the South Carolina basketball family," Geathers said in a release. "Coach Horn was personally involved in my recruitment and I'm confident that he and his staff will push me every day to reach my potential on and off the court.

"I'm excited about what is going on with the program and look forward to being a part of it."

The 6-11, 260-pound center averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocks a game this past season for Carvers Bay, the same high school his cousin attended.

The family also includes current NFL linebacker Robert Geathers and former lineman Jumpy Geathers.

Despite his gargantuan size, Carlton Geathers has only played two years of organized basketball. He becomes the high school's first Division I signee.

Geathers' signing completes a recruiting class rated the 11th best in the country, according to Scout. The class certainly has a Lowcountry feel to it.

In addition to Geathers, Horn plucked Bruce Ellington from Berkeley and R.J. Slawson from Fort Dorchester.

The Gamecocks are counting on the speedy, 5-10 Ellington to help fill the void left behind by All-SEC point guard Devan Downey. The 6-7 Slawson, recently named the state's best high school player for this past season, will use his versatility on the wing.

South Carolina learned late last week that Dominique Archie's appeal to the NCAA for a sixth season has been denied, forcing the team to lean even more heavily on its new, younger players.

Geathers factors in as part of that.

South Carolina was in need of a big man to bang around inside, particularly after Mike Holmes' New Year's Day dismissal.

With little formal basketball experience, Geathers will be something of a project for Horn and his staff.

"Carlton completes a very talented recruiting class that will join our team next season," Horn said. "He helps us address our needs from a position standpoint and we look forward to helping him develop his skills on the court."

The Gamecocks dropped seven of their final eight games, struggling down the stretch without Archie and Holmes, to finish 15-16 and miss the postseason.

Women's update

Highly rated Kayla Brewer was the only player to sign Wednesday with South Carolina's women's program.

Coach Dawn Staley needed some talent to help offset the sudden transfer of young star Kelsey Bone. Brewer figures to help.

Brewer, ranked in the top 10 overall prospects by ESPNU, averaged 15 points and 13 rebounds a game this past season for her high school in Jacksonville, Fla.

Reach Travis Haney at thaney@postandcourier.com, check out the Gamecocks blog at postandcourier.com/blogs/gamecocks and follow him on Twitter (@gamecocksblog).