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Tuesdays with Gorney: Final thoughts on the 2022 Rivals250

In this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney offers some final thoughts on the last 2022 rankings release.



PREVIEWS: Will there be a new No. 1 OT? | Should Alex Styles be top 10?

MONDAY: Five-star countdown | Meet the new five-stars

TUESDAY: Rivals250 released | Gorney's thoughts | Biggest movers | Five toughest questions we faced | Who should be the No. 1 WR?

WEDNESDAY: Offensive position rankings released | Five schools that should be pleased

THURSDAY: Defensive position rankings released | Three-star with most potential

FRIDAY: State rankings released




This is always such a tough position to project because being wrong looks so bad but we love Clemson signee Cade Klubnik in the top spot. He is such a competitor and gamer that I wouldn’t be shocked if he is in the discussion for the starting job next season even with D.J. Uiagalelei still there. Klubnik is just not someone who’s going to back down from getting on the field and he delivers every time he’s out there.

Penn State signee Drew Allar moved up but I’m not sure it was enough. His week of practice was very solid at the All-American Bowl and he’s the best-looking quarterback in the class from his physical size to his effortless throwing motion but his game performance was lackluster. I understand chemistry is tough in a week but it didn’t hold back Klubnik and others.

I wasn’t thrilled that five-star Walker Howard did not participate in the all-star events and we haven’t seen much of him recently. I prefer Alabama signee Ty Simpson and Texas A&M signee Conner Weigman but if we’re talking about gamers, Howard is definitely one of them.



There was some discussion about whether USC signee Raleek Brown was a five-star. I love him and think he’s incredibly dynamic when he has the opportunities to perform. That wasn’t necessarily the case during the All-American Bowl. Still, he’s fast, so shifty, so tough to bring down and in Lincoln Riley’s offense he should shine.

There’s no doubt the running back position has been devalued when it comes to NFL Draft status and that’s one consideration we make in our rankings. There are no five-star pure running backs in this class now and I’m OK with it although someone probably will emerge as a first-rounder. If I had to take my pick now it would be Penn State signee Nicholas Singleton, who really shined during practice at the All-American Bowl.

Georgia signee Branson Robinson remained No. 1 at the position and he could have an outstanding career but he is a little one-note to me, a between-the-tackles runner which is perfectly fine but Singleton does a little more. The sleeper in this class to me is Oklahoma State signee Ollie Gordon.



This is a solid wide receiver group and a nice mix, too, of big targets on the outside with ranginess (Tetairoa McMillan, Andre Greene), small slot receivers with dynamic ability (Aaron Anderson, Isaiah Bond, Kaden Saunders) and then guys in the middle who just make plays and catch everything (Luther Burden, CJ Williams).

I pushed for Alabama signee Anderson to be a five-star because when he practiced at Under Armour he was unstoppable - and it wasn’t even close. He caught everything and burned everybody and reminded me of Jaylen Waddle when I saw him a few years ago do the same thing to everybody in San Antonio.

Alabama signee Shazz Preston could have been more in the five-star discussion because he’s going to be a guy who catches a ton of passes and Jackson State’s Kevin Coleman was better than expected all week at the All-American Bowl. TCU got a steal in Jordan Hudson and I wish he was higher up in the rankings.

Tight end has been a riddle wrapped inside an enigma for the 2022 class. Texas A&M signee Donovan Green caught everything at Under Armour but doesn’t have elite speed. Miami signee Jaleel Skinner is the best-looking tight end and so athletic but has questionable hands sometimes. I like Georgia signee Oscar Delp more than others and thought he could be No. 1 at the position and then Texas A&M signee Jake Johnson has proven to be elite but needs to be on the field more.



It was very tough to figure out the right placement for the offensive tackles. We finished with Alabama signee Elijah Pritchett, North Carolina signee Zach Rice and uncommitted Josh Conerly in that order but I wouldn’t have minded to see Conerly second on the list. Texas signee Kelvin Banks and Florida State signee Julian Armella finished as four-stars as both sort of struggled at the All-American events. Kentucky signee Kiyaunta Goodwin is massive and played left tackle at the All-American Bowl but I wouldn’t be completely stunned if he moved inside over the long term.

Offensive guard was very interesting. Five-star Devon Campbell was the meanest, toughest lineman at either all-star event and he remained a five-star. Earnest Greene was really outstanding as well playing offensive tackle and it will be interesting to see his position long term at tackle or inside. He’s more athletic than people give him credit for.



This is the best position group in the 2022 class by far and there are a lot of five-stars and others who could have made a huge argument for that highest of ranking as well. Let’s go through the defensive linemen who stand out the most. Texas A&M signee Walter Nolen was one of the best players regardless of position at Under Armour. Georgia signee Keithian Alexander was right there and has surprising speed for someone his size. North Carolina signee Travis Shaw was the biggest but has been battling injuries so he wasn’t as productive as the other two.

Penn State signee Dani Dennis-Sutton and Georgia signee Mykel Williams were both outstanding at the All-American Bowl and both needed a “prove it” moment. They delivered in San Antonio. LSU signee Quency Wiggins and uncommitted Shemar Stewart are two of the best-looking prospects in the entire class and both have crazy high potential. They flashed during the all-star events but still have so much more to go.

Alabama signee Jeremiah Alexander didn’t wow me at the Under Armour Game but his body of work is as good as any player in this class. Georgia signee Marvin Jones Jr. was impressive at the All-American Bowl and Ohio State is getting a really talented player in Kenyatta Jackson, who actually entered the five-star talk after seeing him in Orlando.



There were a lot of moving parts at outside linebacker as Ohio State signee CJ Hicks stayed No. 1 and then Alabama signee Jihaad Campbell moved to No. 2 after an outstanding week at Under Armour where he showed his cover ability and his skill coming off the edge if needed. After much debate, we moved now-uncommitted Harold Perkins to a high four-star. He played running back all week at UA so that wasn’t exactly fair but he’s also not huge and there are only so many spots.

I really wish five-star Florida signee Shemar James was at an all-star game. We kept him as a five-star because of his athleticism, instincts and playmaking ability but it would have been great to see him against elite, national competition for once. I loved Lander Barton at the All-American Bowl and even though he moved up a lot, it might not have been enough.



The cornerback class was tough to figure out because Jaheim Singletary and Domani Jackson did not participate in the Under Armour Game because of COVID-19 protocols and injury, respectively. But Michigan signee Will Johnson was so good all week it would have been tough not to move him to No. 1 at the position. New five-star cornerback Julian Humphrey, a Georgia signee, was a player I loved in San Antonio. He’s fast, competitive, can run with any receiver and when the ball is in the air has a knack for knocking it away or making it super tough on the receiver.

Iowa signee Xavier Nwankpa is really good and I wasn’t necessarily sold on uncommitted Jacoby Mathews staying a five-star but lost that debate. His ranginess and athleticism will be special as LSU, Texas A&M, Florida and others battle it out.



Jackson State signee Travis Hunter is the No. 1 overall prospect in the class and it was unlikely he would move off that line. The second-best athlete in the class is Alex Styles, who will play safety or outside linebacker at Ohio State and reclassified. He’s No. 11 overall but that might be a little too low although it’s hard to see who would get displaced as he moves up.

The sleeper of this group over the long term could be Ole Miss signee Nick Cull, who didn’t get to show off his game in an all-star setting but is dynamic and could have a big career in Oxford.