Rivals Rankings Week: Who should be top-ranked OT in 2022 class?
The first Rivals Rankings Week is here for the 2022 class. Quarterbacks get all the love from the national media but they’re only as good as the offensive tackle that’s protecting their blindside.
There are three elite offensive tackles in the initial Rivals250 for the 2022 class and there are differing opinions about who should be the highest ranked in this class.
Rivals.com analysts Rob Cassidy, Adam Friedman, and Sam Spiegelman make their case for who they think should be the top ranked offensive tackle in this class.
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
CASSIDY'S VIEW: Julian Armella
Armella may not be the most polished tackle in this class, but he’s becoming more technically sound by the month and his size, athleticism and power give him as high an upside as anyone. If the five-star prospect stays the course in the years ahead, he’ll be ready to make an impact in any league in America by the time he steps on campus.
Armella has incredibly light feet for his massive size and has long proven his game holds up against elite competition. He’ll play next season at Miami powerhouse Columbus High School, where he’ll continue to get high level coaching and the chance to square off against solid competition. - Rob Cassidy, Southeast recruiting analyst
FRIEDMAN'S VIEW: Zach Rice
Rice has the ideal body for a franchise left tackle. He’s 6-foot-6, a fairly lean 305-pounds, and has long arms. Rice doesn’t play great competition but he dominates his opponents on a weekly basis. He has excellent athleticism and showcases it by routinely beating the defensive lineman in front of him and then running down field to make another key block.
As a pass blocker Rice hasn’t faced many elite prospects but his quickness and strength make up for what he lacks in experience and patience. He is very solid from a technical standpoint and understands the fundamentals. Unfortunately, there won’t be a football season in Virginia this fall, so Rice will have to wait a bit to play another live action game unless he transfers. - Adam Friedman, Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst
SPIEGELMAN'S VIEW: Kam Dewberry
Dewberry is a little smaller than your prototypical left tackle, which certainly factors into this equation, but he’s an elite blocker in the run and pass games that could lead to quality futures at a multitude of positions up front.
Dewberry recorded an 84-inch wingspan at the Rivals Camp Series in Houston earlier this year with 35.75-inch arms. He has requisite length for the position and he’s sharp at anticipating pass-rush moves and countering with quick feet and overwhelming strength. While Dewberry could wind up at right tackle or even inside at guard, there are few offensive linemen as well-rounded and proven at this stage than Dewberry. - Sam Spiegelman, Mid-South recruiting analyst