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Top programs announce impressive new classes

Published: February 2, 2012

National Signing Day rather predictably made a number of coaches very happy on Wednesday, or at least prompted them to go into positive overdrive in highlighting the incoming talent at their program.

All over the nation, players signed the National Letter of Intent form and sent them to the school of their choice. NCAA rules restrict the number of publicity announcements each program can make about incoming recruiting, so many schools choose to withhold their announcements until they have the full set of  forms turned in.

Still, a number of programs were able to toot their own proverbial horns at the news of the day.

Wake Forest head coach Jay Vidovich could not hide his excitement on Wednesday when he announced a new class of Demon Deacons.

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“I love this kid,” said Vidovich about new signing Michael Gamble. “And [I] believe he will make an immediate impact on the program. He thinks only of winning, driving to goal and getting the ball - from teammates and opponents alike.”

boy's club soccer michael gambleMichael Gamble
Gamble is just one of the talented pieces that put his pen to the paper on Wednesday to join Vidovich’s program. The gifted playmaker from Baltimore Bays is our #14 overall prospect of the 2012 class.

He is joined at Wake Forest by our #13 ranked player, Jalen Robinson. Robinson, who graduated high school early and already enrolled at the ACC school, drew rave reviews from coach Vidovich as well.

"He's probably coming in as gifted as anybody we've ever had,” said Vidovich. “He's a no-brainer in terms of what he can help us with, so we just can't wait to have him here. For us, he's going to be an impact player from the word, 'go.'”

Rounding out the stellar class for the Deacons is goalkeeper Andrew Harris, midfielder Ricky Greensfelder, midfielder Thomas Haws, defender Philip Parker, and defender Ryan Perry.

The South Carolina Gamecocks also officially announced its class on Wednesday. Head coach Mark Berson only signed four players, but he was confident they all would contribute immediately.

“We don’t have a big class, but all these guys are going to help us next year,” said Berson.

The veteran coach stayed local with most of his recruits, as he plucked two of the top talents for South Carolina United Battery’s Development Academy U18 team in Wesley Eads and Devin L’Amoreaux.

L’Amoreaux is our #63 ranked player overall for this class. He is a midfielder with experience in the youth national team program.

“Devin is composed on the ball and he has a good ability to come forward,” said Berson. “He has great potential.”

Ryan Arambula and Connor Steele rounded out the solid recruiting class for the Gamecocks.

UCF jumped on the opportunity to announce its class on Wednesday with a group of four recruits joining Bryan Cunningham’s squad for the 2012 season.

“We feel great about these young men,” said Cunningham. “They fulfill a lot of needs, not just replacing our group of seniors that just left, but moving forward as we prepare to head to the Big East. This group will get us well on our way."

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UNC transfer Anton Sealey, Mason Miller, Michael Russo, and Romario Williams make the quartet of new faces on the Knights roster.

Replacing Sealey on the Tar Heel’s roster is FC Dallas Academy product Daniel Garcia. The U.S. U18 national team midfielder signed with the Tar Heels on Wednesday, as announced by his club.

The defending national champions have yet to release their official class of players, which is expected to include Joseph Amon (#8), Jonathan Campbell, Nyambi Jabang, Alex Olofson, Nico Rittmeyer, Nicholas Williams, and transfer Andy Craven.

Out West, New Mexico jumped on the opportunity to get its list of recruits out in the public early with a class of five new student-athletes headed to Albuquerque in the fall.

"It's easy to recruit at a place that you've become whole-heartedly invested in," said New Mexico associate head coach Paul Souders. "I think that's the attitude that all three of us have - our facilities, our fans, the whole environment, it's the best in the country. We go into the process knowing that if we can get a guy to visit, the place will sell itself."

Charles Klepac, Christopher Wehan, Nicholas Rochowski, Michael Calderon, and Joe Harris comprise the class for the MPSF defending champions.

Washington landed a big time recruit to help fill the void that senior Brent Richards left when he signed with the Portland Timbers. Huskies head coach Jamie Clark signed local product Dominique Dismuke on Wednesday. Dismuke has 11 goals in 14 games this season to lead the Sounders U18 team, which is on top of the Northwest Division.

Fellow Sounders Academy forward Jesse Klug also signed his letter of intent on Wednesday. Bucknell head coach Brendan Nash announced that the Washington product sent in his fax early on Wednesday.

Down the coast in Corvallis, Oregon State landed a top recruit of its own in U.S. residency product Mikhail Doholis. The striker is one of our top 100 ranked players of the 2012 class, and has already enrolled at the school.

In California, only Cal and UCSB announced their signing classes on Wednesday. The Golden Bears only signed one player, junior college transfer Luis Fuentes, for next season, as Kevin Grimes’ side returns everyone from last year’s squad.

UCSB added two freshmen and three transfers during this signing period after losing six players to professional contracts from last year's team. The Gauchos incoming class is highlighted by local standout Ema Boateng, who is a product of the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana. 

The UCLA Bruins have not announced their class yet, but are expected to have another stellar group with U17 national team forward Mario Rodriguez headlining the list of new arrivals.

Rodriguez is #5 in our top 100 for the 2012 class. Cole Nagy, #26 in the top 100, and Nico Gonzalez, who faxed in his letter of intent according to his club San Juan Soccer, will join Rodriguez in Westwood.  

The rest of the class for UCLA is expected to include star goalkeeper Juan Cervantes, defender Javan Torre, and midfielders Tim Fairley, Holden Fender, and Grady Howe.

MORE SIGNING DAY COVERAGE: Photos | New Boys Commits | New Girls Commits

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