On3 5-Star Countdown: No. 11, EDGE James Pearce

On3 imageby:Peter Warren01/24/22


Photo by Jeremy Johnson/On3

As college football heads toward the proverbial end of the 2022 recruiting cycle, On3 will soon release its final rankings for this year’s senior class.

At the top of those rankings are 32 five-star prospects, each of whom was among the most heavily recruited high school football players in the country this year. Next up on the countdown is the No. 11 prospect in the 2022 class, Charlotte (N.C.) Julius Chambers EDGE and Tennessee signee James Pearce.

After checking is at No. 57 in On3’s previous rankings, Pearce has ascended into five-star territory.

The player evaluations not only include their full senior seasons, but their performances in the practices and games of the Under Armour All-American Game and the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The final batch of five-stars has some significant movement from the previous rankings, including 15 newly minted members of the club. It also is headlined by a new No. 1 overall player.

James Pearce Scouting Summary

Twitched-up EDGE prospect who has an argument as the most gifted pass rusher in the 2022 cycle. Pairs a long, lean build with top notch first-step quickness. Screams off the edge both as a standing rusher and from a three-point stance. Shows curvilinear movement with his ability to bend around the edge. Has elite closing speed and is a high-level finisher in the backfield. Physical and embraces contact. Has a strong anchor relative to his current size (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) and converts speed to power as a pass rusher. Highly, highly disruptive in multiple ways. Disrupts passing lanes on a regular basis in addition to forcing fumbles, coming down with interceptions and scoring several defensive touchdowns. Plays with an outstanding effort level on a play-to-play basis. Tracks down plays in backside pursuit. Runs like a wide receiver, which should not be a surprise as he began his career as an offensive skill player. Has put together a phenomenal final two seasons at North Carolina’s top high school program, totaling over 30 sacks as a junior and senior. — Charles Power, On3 Director of Scouting and Rankings