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Rivals Rankings Week: Who should top the 2022 rankings?

Travis Hunter
Travis Hunter (Rivals.com)

All signs point to Quinn Ewers enrolling at Ohio State in the next week or two so that means the new Rivals250 for the 2022 class will have a new player at the top. After a semi-normal spring and summer camp season, our analyst team of National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney and National Recruiting Analysts Adam Friedman, Josh Helmholdt and Sam Spiegelman make their case for who they think should ascend to the No. 1 spot in the Rivals250.

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RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK

Sunday: Who should be the No. 1 QB in the 2022 class?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown

Tuesday: New Rivals250 released

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Programs with the most R250 commits

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released

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GORNEY: Travis Hunter

Even before Quinn Ewers reclassified to the 2021 class, an argument could have been made that Hunter was the best player in 2022 and here's why: His athletic ability hardly ever comes along and I have made the argument that the Florida State commit could be ranked as the No. 1 receiver and No. 1 cornerback in the class.

Ewers is special. There's no doubt about it. He is accurate. The ball pops when he throws it. The Ohio State quarterback throws well from different arm angles, off-platform, everything. But Hunter is so incredibly dynamic as an athlete that he could be an immediate contributor all over the field in Tallahassee. He plays the game like he's on a pogo stick. Plus, Hunter is super competitive and driven to be great and I love everything about his game.

Defensive linemen Walter Nolen and Travis Shaw could have an argument, too, for that No. 1 spot but the easy choice here is Hunter.

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FRIEDMAN: Travis Hunter

Position value plays a huge hand in deciding which player will be named the No. 1 prospect in the Rivals250. When there isn't a quarterback that can fit that description, history has shown that it's usually a defensive lineman that rises to the top. In the 2010s, there were six defensive linemen that finished at No. 1 in the Rivals250 but there have only been two defensive linemen at No. 1 in the last five classes.

A higher value is being placed on exceptional non-quarterback skill position players and Travis Hunter is a symbol of that change. He's a do-it-all athlete that can't be stopped on offense and can wreck an offensive coordinator's game plan when he's on defense. There are some defensive linemen in this class (Walter Nolen and Travis Shaw) that can completely derail an offense. We've seen how valuable players like that can be at the college and NFL levels but Hunter is a difference maker in all phases of the game.

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HELMHOLDT: Travis Hunter

For me, Travis Hunter is the clear choice to take over the No. 1 spot. I am usually not a fan of pushing prospects in the Athlete position category high, but no matter where Hunter lines up on the field he will be a star. He may be the most sure-fire prospect in this class, and his ceiling is sky high.


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SPIEGELMAN: TRAVIS HUNTER OR WALTER NOLEN

I was torn between making a case for Travis Hunter or Walter Nolen because it's about preference. Hunter is the best skill position player in the class. He'd have a case as the top receiver as much as the best cornerback, and after seeing him in-person at IMG Academy this summer the athleticism is off the charts. Nolen, too, turned in a dominant offseason at multiple camp settings as well as Future 50, where he blends power and suddenness as the best of several interior linemen in 2022. Without Ewers, the answer is either Hunter or Nolen in whatever order you prefer.