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Inside the On300: 34% of top recruits in country heading to SEC

Jeremy Crabtree01/24/22
Kelvin Banks
The final On300 for the Class of 2022 reveals it’s the deepest talent pool in the modern era of recruiting in the Lone Star State. And Texas OL signee Kelvin Banks takes home the honor as the state’s No. 1 player.

Having been around college football recruiting for nearly three decades, I’ve learned to love numbers. Numbers help you identify small shifts that lead to changing tides and eventual seismic movements in the recruiting world. That’s why it’s important to sift through ranking lists to see what trends are emerging, and that’s what we’re doing here with the final release of the On300 for the Class of 2022.

104 in On300

It should come as no surprise from those that follow recruiting, but the SEC has dominated recruiting in the Class of 2022. The final On300 for the Class of 2022 features 104 players committed or signed with SEC schools.

To put it another way, that’s 34% of the On300 that is heading to SEC schools. Or even more telling, 46% of the five-star players picked SEC schools.

Every team in the SEC has at least one On300 player committed or signed. However, there is some separation between the top and the bottom of the league.

Alabama leads the way with a whopping 22 On300 recruits – the best in the country – followed by Texas A&M at 20 and Georgia at 17. Yet, there are no other teams in the league with double-digit On3 recruits.

In fact, Alabama, Texas A&M and Georgia have 19.6% of the nation’s top 300 recruits heading their way.

Tennessee is fourth with eight On300 recruits and Kentucky is next with seven. Florida, LSU and Mizzou each have five. But with a lot left on their boards, you can probably expect the Gators and Bayou Bengals to add to their list before Signing Day.

The next closest league to the SEC?

The B1G, which is led by Ohio State’s 15 On300 recruits, is second behind the SEC. The Big 12, lead by Texas’ 17 On3 recruits, is next. That’s followed by the ACC with 38 and the Pac 12 with only 20.

53

There are 53 players from Texas in the final On300, which is an increase of three new players from the penultimate update to the rankings. The 2022 class in the Lone Star State was called the deepest in a long, long time and the final rankings reflect that fact.

In fact, On3 national analyst and longtime Texas high school football follower Gerry Hamilton takes its step further and calls it the best talent pool to ever come out of the Lone Star State.

“There is elite, national-level talent at all positions, but also big-time depth at just about every position,” Hamilton said. “This was the ultimate year to come recruit in Texas. It’s why so many schools from all over the country came to the Lone Star State.”

The final ranking show there were six five-stars from Texas, a number that was matched by no other state. And in the end, Humble Summer Creek five-star offensive tackle and Longhorn signee Kelvin Banks gets the nod as the No. 1 overall player in the Lone Star State.

44 receivers in On300

As expected, the Class of 2022 turned out to be the year of the wide receiver. Yes, the highest-ranked receiver is Missouri signee Luther Burden at No. 9 overall and there are only three receivers ranked in the top 18. But there’s so much depth at the position that there are 16 receivers ranked in the top 100 overall, 29 in the top 200 and 44 overall in the On300.

“We entered the all-star season thinking that wide receiver was the deepest position in the 2022 cycle,” On3 Director of Scouting and Rankings Charles Power said. “That thought was validated after time in Orlando and San Antonio.”

With so much top talent, received ended up being one of the hardest positions for On3 to rank. But Burden won out as the No. 1 overall receiver just ahead of TCU signee Jordan Hudson at No. 15 and Texas A&M signee Evan Stewart at No. 17.

“Burden has a well-rounded skill set as a multi-dimensional weapon,” Power said. “Those characteristics should bode well at the next level where he figures to be a high usage player for Missouri, likely as a true freshman.”

15

The final On300 for the Class of 2022 features 15 new five-star prospects, including the Ohio State quarterback signee Devin Brown.

The 6-foot-2 ½, 196-pound passer climbed all the way up to the No. 1 overall spot in the country. Brown was propelled by a strong showing in San Antonio, Texas, during the entire week of the All-American Bowl.

“Brown has one of the better combinations of arm talent and movement skills in the cycle,” Power said. “He’s most comfortable and at his best when he can aggressively push the ball downfield. He is a natural thrower.

“He had some of the more impressive passes of the week among all quarterbacks. When Brown was on, he was ripping throws with significant velocity to the second and third level of the defense.”

5

There’s only 5% of the top 300 players – or 15 total – that have yet to commit or sign with a school as of Jan. 24.

It’s a startling shift from the days when January and early February were when the biggest recruiting news took place. But since the advent of the early signing period in 2017, more and more top recruits have decided to sign early.

That trend continued to tick upward with the 2022 class as only a handful of top players – like Opka Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace five-star defensive lineman Shemar Stewartare still left on the board.

2

For the first time in the modern era of recruiting Utah – yes, Utah – has two five-star players.

Buckeye bound quarterback Devin Brown is joined in the five-star rankings by Utah Utes five-star linebacker signee Lander Barton of Salt Lake City Brighton. Barton had a spectacular week at the All-American Bowl.

“We tabbed Barton as a potential riser heading into the All-American Bowl, and he exceeded those expectations,” Power said. “He impressed in every facet. He’s physically imposing at around 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds. We thought he had the best movement skills of the jumbo linebackers at either game.

“Barton is a natural in space and coverage. He can flip his hips and turn and run while carrying receivers over the middle of the field. The play speed and instincts also showed up in the game, where Barton made some impressive plays in pursuit.”

While it might surprise some to see Utah with two five-star prospects, savvy college coaches know that some of the best high school football in the country is played in the Beehive State.

Yes, it’s rare to have two five-star prospects from a state with the population of Utah. But there’s so much quality in the area that it wouldn’t be shocking to see more five stars from the state in the future.

Other telling On300 numbers

  • 9×2: The talent pool in Oklahoma and Tennessee continue to trend upward as better high football continues to be played in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville and Memphis. The state of Oklahoma and Tennessee both had nine players ranked in the final On300, including five-star DL Walter Nolen from Powell, Tenn., and CB Gentry Williams from Tulsa Booker T. Washington
  • 2×2: You have to truly tip the hat to the coaching staffs at Jackson State and Cincinnati. Both non-traditional recruiting powers have two On300 recruits in the 2022 class. That’s more than household names like Nebraska and Washington and on the same level as Arkansas and Vanderbilt in the SEC, Minnesota, Iowa and Northwestern in the B1G, and NC State and Wake Forest in the ACC. What’s scary is that number could climb even higher as Jackson State coach Deion Sanders hinted that more big-name commitments are coming.
  • 3: UCF is another non-traditional recruiting power that made noise in the 2022 class with three On300 recruits. Cornerback Ja’Cari Henderson finishes as the No. 115 player overall, and safety Demari Henderson climbed from the No. 258 spot to No. 167 overall. Receiver Tyler Griffin also moved into the top 200 at No. 194. That gives the Golden Knights three top 200 recruits.