Comparing top 2022 prospects to college, NFL stars: Nos. 41-50
Comparisons are an inevitable part of college football recruiting. In this week’s series, National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney breaks down each of the top 50 players in the 2022 class and National Columnist Mike Farrell provides a current college or NFL player that would be a great comparison.
FACT OR FICTION: Texas A&M is the program to beat for Harold Perkins
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
50. Talyn Shettron
Gorney's analysis: Shettron is a rangy outside receiver who can cover ground, go up and catch passes over defensive backs and stretch the field with his long strides and smooth athletic ability. A former Oklahoma pledge who flipped to Oklahoma State, Shettron has all the tools to be special in any offense whether it would have been with the Sooners or now with the Cowboys. As he gains even more upper-body strength, the high four-star should be able to outmuscle cornerbacks who try to jam him at the line and he already has the length to go up and over pretty much anybody on defense.
Farrell's comparison: CeeDee Lamb. Lamb might be a bit of a reach here as Shettron needs to be more consistent with his hands but he has excellent body control and attacks the football as the former Oklahoma and now Dallas Cowboys star does. If Shettron can get his hands right he can shoot up the list.
49. TreVonte’ Citizen
Gorney's analysis: For a player who’s already 6-foot and 218 pounds, Citizen has surprising quickness, can break it to the edge and run by defenders. At that size he’s very tough to bring down and can bounce off arm tackles with ease. Citizen has moved up to the No. 2 running back in the 2022 class and it’s justified as the LSU commit should have a field day running between the tackles in Baton Rouge. Because he has great vision, he can make himself small and is hard to tackle. He has a mix of speed and power that’s rare.
Farrell's comparison: Damien Harris. Harris, the former Alabama running back and now New England Patriot, has a similar build as Citizen although the latter might be a little quicker and stronger at the same stage. Citizen runs low and bounces off of tackles and has excellent vision.
48. Terrance Brooks
Gorney's analysis: What stands out about Brooks is that he never gives up on the play. He’s super competitive going against the receiver when the ball is in the air, he can turn and run with anybody and there are highlight clips where he sprints downfield after a play and it shows his drive and hustle is not matched by many. The Ohio State commit has length, bounce and plays with a competitive mindset on every play and that’s why he could be one of the next greats in Columbus.
Farrell's comparison: Marshon Lattimore. The former Ohio State star and current New Orleans Saints starter is a lofty comparison for Brooks but the similarities are there and he’s rising on the CB board for 2022. Brooks is more polished as a corner at the same stage but not quite the same athlete.
47. Julian Humphrey
Gorney's analysis: Humphrey trusts his speed so the Florida commit has no problem playing close to the line of scrimmage on an island and then running with receivers, knocking passes away or picking the ball off. He also has excellent vision to see what’s happening at the line of scrimmage, release off a receiver and come up to make a play. His speed is unquestioned. At the Elite 11, Humphrey beat Domani Jackson (who did slip a little out of the gate but had still just come off a 10.25 in the 100 meters), Oklahoma commit Raleek Brown and other speedy recruits in a race during that event. Georgia and others are trying to flip Humphrey, who had another good performance at Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp over the weekend.
Farrell's comparison: Donte Jackson. The former LSU speedster and now Carolina Panther was known for his ability to close and accelerate, and Humphrey can run, we know that. He’s not the biggest corner but size isn’t really an issue and you can’t teach speed.
46. Jaylen Sneed
Gorney's analysis: The Notre Dame commit is already a top-50 player nationally and the fifth-best outside linebacker in the 2022 class and neither ranking is doing him justice. Sneed was so outstanding at the Rivals events over the offseason because he runs like a deer in coverage and then has this incredible knack to pick off passes. It’s amazing to see a player his size who played edge rusher as a junior be able to stay with receivers that deep in their routes and then have the hands and football sense to intercept the ball. Players with that athletic ability and that special feel for the position don’t come around often.
Farrell's comparison: Deion Jones. Jones has become known for his ability in coverage despite not being the longest player around and he can also make plays in the backfield as he showed at LSU and with the Atlanta Falcons. Sneed plays more with his hand in the dirt than Jones did but in camps his coverage technique is impressive.
45. Brenen Thompson
Gorney's analysis: Thompson’s game is electric. The four-star is about speed, speed, speed and that make-you-miss ability where he can put his foot in the ground, freeze defenders and then run by them. It’s really fun to watch him in space because his athletic ability and just how fast he is against his opponents is impressive to watch. And for someone who isn’t all that big, Thompson is tough to tackle, bounces off arm tackles and keeps going. Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and others are involved.
Farrell's comparison: Russell Shepard. This is an old comparison but a good one as Thompson is dynamic with the ball in his hands as a quarterback and could project to either wide receiver or defensive back with his athletic ability. Shepard carved out a nice NFL career as a wide receiver after his days at LSU.
44. Tetairoa McMillan
Gorney's analysis: McMillan is a long, lanky, athletic playmaker at receiver who’s ranked as the fourth-best receiver in the class and could make an argument that he could be even higher as the best player at that position in the West. He’s a smooth route runner, he can get up and over anybody and he might have the best hands in the country. In some ways, McMillan looks like a star volleyball player at the receiver position and with his wiry strength and playmaking ability he is a big target that makes plays all the time. USC, Arizona, Oregon and others are battling it out.
Farrell's comparison: Tee Higgins. Higgins, the former Clemson star now with the Cincinnati Bengals, was tall and thin at the same stage but had excellent body control and sneaky speed. He filled out and McMillan will, too.
43. Harold Perkins
Gorney's analysis: Perkins can come off the edge and light up players in the backfield. He can seek and destroy up the middle, and the high four-star linebacker can track ball carriers to the sideline and make plays that way. With Texas A&M, LSU and Texas as the top programs in his recruitment, Perkins is an outstanding playmaker on both sides of the field who had excellent stats on the offensive side and was just as nearly productive at linebacker. He’s fast, he hits hard and covers ground all over the field to make things happen.
Farrell's comparison: Vic Beasley. Beasley was listed taller and heavier than Perkins out of high school but that’s not exactly true. Beasley was a sack machine at Clemson and a first-round pick although he didn’t pan out in the NFL. Perkins has similar athletic ability and perhaps a better future.
42. Josh Conerly Jr.
Gorney's analysis: Conerly is arguably the most athletic offensive tackle in this class and he can pull block easily, he can get to the second level and he’s always looking to knock people around. Just because he’s more of an athletic offensive tackle, Conerly still loves to play physically and he’s always trying to drive people into the ground. There is still some room to add weight in college but Conerly is so athletic and moves so well that he could go even higher in the position rankings. Washington, Oregon, Alabama, Oklahoma and many others are involved.
Farrell's comparison: Nick Petit-Frere. Conerly reminds me of the former five-star in build and technique and Petite-Frere is set for a breakout season at Ohio State. Like Petit-Frere, Conerly will get better as he adds strength.
41. Dasan McCullough
Gorney's analysis: McCullough could be a big safety, a linebacker or an edge rusher and despite not having an exact position that’s not a detriment, it’s actually a bonus since he could be used all over the defense to make an impact. At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, the Indiana commit (formerly pledged to Ohio State) has incredible length, covers ground, and is a tackling machine.
Farrell's comparison: Isaiah Simmons. Simmons, yet another former Clemson star, was a jack of all trades in college and a first-rounder for the Arizona Cardinals. McCullough is a bit longer at the same stage but the ability to play from safety up to edge rusher is there.