South Carolina men's tennis head coach Josh Goffi's 2011 signing class is rated No. 3 in the country, TennisRecruiting.net announced Monday.
Chosen by a panel of junior tennis experts from around the country, the rankings include all commitments reported through Jan. 8.
The Gamecocks' quartet earned one first-place vote from the panel. It is South Carolina's first appearance in the organization's top-25 rankings.
The 2011 signing class for the Gamecocks includes blue chip recruit Carl Eguez (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), five-star player Andrew Adams (Baltimore, Md.), five-star signee Kyle Koch (Irmo/Chapin) and four-star performer Ben Barnette (Spartanburg).
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"Landing a top-five class is a big step in the right direction for our program and will certainly help us move closer to our goals," Goffi said. "Matt (Lucas, assistant coach) and I worked extremely hard for this class, and it should give us good momentum moving forward. All of our recruits are class acts and are only going to add to the culture we are creating here."
Eguez is currently ranked No. 22 in the country and No. 6 in the Southeast. He went 34-12 overall in 2010, including a 9-4 record against other blue chip players and a 9-7 mark against five-star recruits.
Adams is a five-star recruit who is 27-19 against players rated five-star or above as part of his overall 52-25 record. He is ranked No. 25 in the nation and No. 5 in the Middle Atlantic region.
Koch is currently ranked No. 54 in the country and No. 1 in South Carolina. Playing for Chapin High, he won back-to-back state championships in singles and helped the Eagles to their first team championship in the 3A division in 2010.
Barnette is ranked 26th in the Southeast Region and among the top 100 in the country. Since this summer, he has picked up three second-place finishes in Boys 18 Doubles events, teaming with future Gamecock teammates each time (twice with current Gamecock Chip Cox, once with fellow signee Koch).
The Gamecocks are among three SEC programs to sign top-five classes. Vanderbilt's class of six players ranked first, while Tennessee's two-player class sits in fifth place.