Rivals Rankings Week: Top five states this cycle
Rivals updated its class of 2022 rankings this week, and we have rolled out the new Rivals250 and position rankings. We conclude Rivals Rankings Week with a look at the new state rankings, spotlighting the top five states this cycle.
TODAY'S RELEASE: New 2022 state rankings
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK SCHEDULE:
Monday: Five-Star Countdown
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings released
The state of Texas leads the way, and by a pretty significant margin at this stage. It is no surprise, because it is loaded with talent again, especially on the top end. In the last five classes, the state of Texas has finished with seven (2021), four (2020), six (2019), four (2018) and two (2017) five-stars. In 2022, it already has five with five stars beside their names.
The no. 2 player in Texas, Keithian "Bear" Alexander, is also committed to an out-of-state school, Georgia. The other three five-stars are uncommitted.
There are 17 prospects from the Lone Star State in the top 100, 39 in the Rivals250, and it may finish with over 40 by the time the 2022 rankings are completed.
Out of the 31 players from the Sunshine State in the Rivals250, the biggest storyline is that only two are committed. That is almost hard to imagine in these times, when players are committing earlier and earlier.
Five-star cornerback Jaheim Singletary is the No. 2 player in the state, and he is committed to Ohio State. The only other commitment in this group is four-star defensive end Francois Nolton. He is committed to Florida.
It seems a little light at the top with only two five-stars, but that number is likely to grow. Safety Kamari Wilson is one to watch, and others will make their case over the spring, summer and into the fall.
The state of Georgia has just over two dozen prospects on this list, and it looks to be a very strong year in the Peach State. There are four five-stars in Georgia, and three have already committed, with the other set to announce March 15.
Travis Hunter is the No. 1 player in Georgia, and he is committed to Florida State. Gunner Stockton and Tyre West are ranked second and third, and both are committed to Georgia. Mykel Williams is a new five-star, and he is announcing in a couple of weeks, and it looks like it's down to Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and USC for him.
Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs are off to a strong start in their home state this cycle. Georgia has eight commitments, and all but one are from its home state.
Four of the top 50 players in the country are from the Pelican State, and two of those are five-stars and the other two are in that discussion. The top four is a mix of skill and linemen, but one position looks especially strong this cycle, and it is running back.
The No. 4 player in Louisiana is all-purpose back Trevor Etienne, the younger brother of former Clemson star Travis Etienne. The running backs have been trending down in terms of value in recent years because of the passing game, more one-back sets and the different offensive schemes, but in Louisiana this cycle the position is strong and deep.
California did not play football this fall, so these rankings will be very fluid as we progress through the updates the next 11 months. We all know there will be many more than 14 on this list this time next year, when, hopefully, we have had a strong and healthy spring, summer and fall to see California athletes compete.
There were no big risers, no real changes with commitments and things are still somewhat on hold for now out west. Two fell out of the Rivals250, so the number went down from 16 to 14 in this update, but that number will go up.
In 2021, the pandemic played a big role in only 17 finishing in the Rivals250. To put that number into context: In normal years in the past California has finished with 29 (2020), 35 (2019), 41 (2018), 34 (2017) and 42 (2016) inside the Rivals250.
Let's hope we get football back in California. We will be able to see the players and the numbers will ascend to where they should be.