Top 11 2022 Commitments Who Are Good Enough to Start Right Away

Brad Shepard@@Brad_ShepardFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2021

Top 11 2022 Commitments Who Are Good Enough to Start Right Away

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    Elite Florida State DB commitment Travis Hunter is as good as you'll find.
    Elite Florida State DB commitment Travis Hunter is as good as you'll find.Credit: 247Sports

    Opportunity is knocking for several incoming 2022 recruits, and a handful seem primed to surge into your favorite program and seize the spotlight.

    While plenty of top players remain uncommitted, those who are already settled into their college destination should begin perusing depth charts. Others are so gifted, it doesn't matter who is blocking their path to the field.

    From the nation's top-rated player and a handful of fellow elite defensive backs to several talented but less-heralded Power Five signal-callers, the '22 class is full of players ready to shine. 

    Weighing skill sets, depth charts and prospect ceilings, plenty look good enough to start right away. A player has to already be verbally committed to a program to be considered for this list.

    Here are some of the names you need to commit to memory.

Jeadyn Lukus, Clemson Cornerback

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Clemson has done an exceptional job recruiting defensive backs in the 2022 cycle, and defensive coordinator Brent Venables probably wishes he had a few of them ready to step onto campus right away.

    Though the Tigers are loaded, there aren't as many bodies on the back end of the defense, and they could lose more depth after Fred Davis was charged with reckless driving on August 1.

    With electric cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. a near-lock to leave early for the NFL after this season and Mario Goodrich a senior, the Tigers will need some more talent to complement Malcolm Greene.

    Enter Jeadyn Lukus, a 5-star cornerback who is 6'2", 185 pounds and ready to play for his home-state Tigers coming out of Mauldin, South Carolina. 

    According to the 247Sports Composite ranking, Lukus is the nation's No. 31-ranked player. He is long and athletic and may be the smoothest defensive back for his size in the entire class. One look at his film and his backpedal, and you can see why he was one of the most coveted prospects in the class.

    Lukus is big enough to play in the box but also possesses the skill set to be a shutdown corner. The Tigers have recruited all over the field, but the defensive back jewel of the '22 class may be too good to keep out of the starting rotation right away.

Will Campbell, LSU Offensive Tackle

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    Credit: 247Sports

    As LSU tries to put a disappointing encore to its 2019 national championship in the rearview mirror, coach Ed Orgeron has filled plenty of roster holes to get the Bayou Bengals heading in the right direction.

    More work remains along the offensive front, though, where a dearth of elite talent and plenty of youth has led to several fall camp battles again this year.

    Next season, 5-star Louisiana prospect Will Campbell will enter the mix, and he will bring with him a formidable resume and enough physical attributes to make him one of the most-watched prospects in the nation who can win a starting role with a strong Power Five program.

    The 6'6", 285-pound offensive tackle from Monroe, Louisiana, is the fourth-rated offensive tackle in the class and the No. 19 overall prospect. His size, pass-blocking skills and athleticism give him one of the highest ceilings of any player, though.

    Campbell is blessed with the length and athleticism to keep elite edge-rushers from his quarterback. Though his run-blocking and footwork need refining, they will be fixed quickly in Baton Rouge, and he will enjoy a surge to the top of the depth chart as soon as that happens.

Omarion Hampton, North Carolina Running Back

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Omarion Hampton is probably going to come into Chapel Hill with a huge chip on his shoulder.

    That, combined with a golden opportunity to make an immediate impact, could prove to be a huge coup for coach Mack Brown as he seeks to rebuild his offense in what is likely to be the first year of the post-Sam Howell era.

    The Clayton, North Carolina, running back is 6'0", 215 pounds and capable of shouldering the load by carrying the ball 25-30 times a game. After Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler, who is in Chapel Hill for a season to replace Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, there isn't a lot of proven depth.

    So a star prospect like Hampton can step right in. He's also going to have a lot of motivation after 11 running backs were ranked ahead of him. There aren't that many better than Hampton, and he adds some exceptional one-cut ability to his large frame.

    Hampton be a starter in '22, and the offense's centerpiece if he beats out players such as D.J. Jones, Josh Henderson, Elijah Green, British Brooks and Caleb Hood, which won't be easy. Still, Hampton can do it.

Travis Hunter, Florida State Cornerback

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Nothing's a guarantee with a true freshmen, but the nation's top-ranked overall player—cornerback Travis Hunter—looks about as close to a "can't-miss" as they come.

    If coach Mike Norvell can get him to Tallahassee and signed on the dotted line (and there's been no indication of anything otherwise), it will represent a huge recruiting win.

    Hunter in garnet and gold is the kind of statement recruit the Seminoles were used to getting in the heydays of Jimbo Fisher and the late, great Bobby Bowden. Going into Suwanee, Georgia, and plucking him from under the nose of Kirby Smart's home-state Bulldogs was impressive, too.

    Not only is Hunter blazing fast, he has the best ball skills of any defender in the class, and it's not out of the question he could play a role Norvell's offense.

    Hunter is a program-changing type of player, and it's not only a major talent victory for the 'Noles, it's great for perception, too. It's going to be nearly impossible for Norvell to make him watch from the sideline when he can be a difference-maker of this magnitude.

Will Johnson, Michigan Cornerback

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh's seat has been getting progressively hotter in Ann Arbor over the past couple of years, but it doesn't seem to negatively impact recruiting.

    Even though a few former star prospects such as Xavier Worthy (Texas) and Zach Charbonnet (UCLA) bolted after brief stints as Wolverines, the Big Blue brand is still pulling elite prospects. A prime example of that is potential shutdown cornerback Will Johnson, who is the centerpiece of the '22 class.

    The 6'3", 190-pounder eschewed heading cross country to play in the USC secondary with another player on this list and instead elected to stay near his Grosse Pointe, Michigan, home. With the Wolverines needing impact playmakers on the back end, Johnson has a clear path to playing time. 

    He possesses elite athleticism after starring on the basketball court and looking like the kind of player who can be an all-around defender in college.

    A bunch of schools will keep calling Johnson, though he told The Wolverine's EJ Holland he is "really comfortable" with his decision. He's the type of prospect who can help Harbaugh and Co. turn things around and compete at a high level again in the Big Ten.

Domani Jackson, USC Cornerback

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The aforementioned prospect who is trying to lure Will Johnson to Troy is USC dynamic cornerback commitment Domani Jackson.

    The Wolverines prospect is trying to return the favor by getting Jackson to come to Ann Arbor, too, according to SI.com's Brandon Brown.

    For now, the close friends are committed to different former powerhouse programs trying to find their way out of the wilderness, but pledging to his home-state Trojans wasn't in question for Jackson. He jump-started the '22 class by committing early and hasn't wavered.

    At 6'1", 185 pounds, Jackson is built like a pro player already and has a skill set as good as any other defensive back in this class.

    He has the speed and ball skills to make up for some improvement needed in man coverage, and that all-around game makes him highly coveted. He is the nation's fourth-rated player. 

    Coming from powerhouse program Mater Dei in Santa Ana, California, doesn't hurt, either. With elite incoming freshman Ceyair Wright already on campus for defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, USC is rebuilding its defensive backfield with a bunch of future weapons.

    Jackson is the kind of building block coach Clay Helton needs as he tries to take the Trojans back to the top of the Pac-12.

Justyn Martin, California Quarterback

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Nineteen quarterbacks are ranked higher than Justyn Martin in the 247Sports Composite rankings, but that's because it is one of the deepest pools of signal-callers in recent memory.

    The 6'4", 210-pound Inglewood, California, prospect has enough raw ability to be as good as most of the players above him on the list. That's why luring him to Berkeley was such a huge deal for coach Justin Wilcox.

    Martin's length, arm strength and athleticism were big reasons why Lane Kiffin wanted him at Ole Miss, Jim Harbaugh tried to get him to Michigan and plenty of Pac-12 programs such as Arizona State, Colorado and UCLA recruited him hard.

    He is now lined up to battle guys such as Robby Rowell, Spencer Brasch, Zach Johnson and talented incoming freshman Kai Millner to replace Chase Garbers next year.

    Despite flirting with Ole Miss, Michigan and Michigan State, Martin told 247Sports' Greg Biggins in June he's still set on the Bears: "All I have set right now is Cal. I'm still committed to Cal and feel great about them. I'm excited to get out there."

    That's big news for Wilcox, but the nature of recruiting is having to win high-profile battles like this one. If Martin makes it to Cal, he's going to be in the mix to be the quarterback of the future.

Maalik Murphy, Texas Quarterback

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The cupboard is far from bare in Austin for first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian, but neither Hudson Card nor Casey Thompson has separated himself in the race to replace Sam Ehlinger for the burnt orange.

    It's possible the future of the position beyond 2021 isn't even on campus yet.

    Sark is known for molding quarterbacks. While it was a big blow that top-rated prospect Quinn Ewers decommitted from the Longhorns, flipped to Ohio State and reclassified to the '21 class where he's in the race to be the Buckeyes' starting quarterback this year, Texas moved on quickly.

    The Longhorns landed on 4-star California signal-caller Maalik Murphy, who is 6'4 1/2", 225 pounds and possesses an elite arm and athletic ability. Though he hasn't put everything together yet in high school, all the tools are there. Murphy has the kind of upside any team would want.

    Working under the tutelage of a known quarterback developer will help Murphy blossom into the top-shelf talent he is, and while Thompson and Card have their own attributes, neither is the type of pro-style quarterback Sarkisian is used to molding.

    One of the guys already on campus could make it impossible to unseat them in '22, but Murphy isn't coming to Austin to sit on the bench. He has the skill set to contribute immediately.

Malaki Starks, Georgia Safety

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    Credit: 247Sports

    It's hard finding a lot of places where incoming freshmen can make an immediate impact on Georgia's roster, but the secondary is one of those spots.

    That's especially the case if you happen to be one of the top players in the country like incoming athlete Malaki Starks, a 6'1", 200-pound prospect from Jefferson, Georgia, who can slot into a lot of positions in Athens and will be too good to keep on the sideline.

    Folks will learn Kelee Ringo's name this year after the versatile do-everything defender battled injuries which forced him to redshirt last year. Starks is the same kind of utility player, but he could wind up as an in-box safety, a sideline-to-sideline linebacker or even on offense.

    Most likely, he's going to play a safety/linebacker hybrid who roams the field and wreaks havoc.

    As a triple-option quarterback in high school, he dominated as the best athlete on the field, outrunning defenders and becoming a threat to score from anywhere. It's that type of athleticism that makes him one of the most intriguing players in the class.

    With the Dawgs looking to outfit the back end of its defense with stars, Starks could shine. The safety group this year features four seniors and a junior, so the opportunity is there. He's good enough to seize it.

Talyn Shettron, Oklahoma State Wide Receiver

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    Credit: 247Sports

    When you think of Mike Gundy's Oklahoma State offense, the first thing that comes to mind is electrifying receivers who fill stat sheets like water bottles.

    Tylan Wallace, James Washington, Justin Blackmon and Dez Bryant are all former Cowboys who became household names in Stillwater. With Wallace and Dillon Stoner gone from last year's OSU team, they are looking for new weapons for quarterback Spencer Sanders.

    Brennan Presley, Braydon Johnson, Tay Martin and others will try to fill the void, but the big help may be coming in 2022 in the form of Talyn Shettron, a 6'3", 185-pound rangy pass-catcher who chose Oklahoma State over the Oklahoma Sooners and a bunch of SEC suitors.

    He has the skill set and size to be the next great one for Gundy. 

    Shettron has big-play ability, and though he isn't the fastest receiver, he can stretch the field and beat smaller DBs one-on-one. He has shown the propensity to high-point catches, too.

    He is the type of athlete the Cowboys need as they restock the arsenal after so many offensive playmakers left. He's going to be impossible to keep from the field and probably from the starting lineup.

Gavin Wimsatt, Rutgers Quarterback

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Rutgers isn't supposed to win recruiting battles for 4-star quarterbacks.

    Yet, that's exactly what second-year coach Greg Schiano has done in his second stint in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers has the nation's 14th-rated class in 2022, which is as big of a surprise as any you'll find at this point of the cycle.

    The lofty ranking is thanks, at least in part, to Owensboro, Kentucky, signal-caller Gavin Wimsatt, who boasts offers from teams such as Ole Miss, Oregon, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Nebraska, TCU, Kentucky and others.

    He may be a bit of a developmental prospect, but he has a huge ceiling and is a quality athlete who has proved to be a winner. When you couple all that with his 6'3", 200-pound frame, he could be the future face of a rebuilding program like Rutgers.

    With incumbent Noah Vedral entering his senior year, the Scarlet Knights will be on the hunt for the next quarterback in New Jersey and want a player who can be a difference-maker. Wimsatt has a strong arm, quality athleticism and can extend plays outside the pocket.

    If Schiano can get him signed, he'll be one of the biggest commits for the program in a long time.

         

    All stats courtesy of CFBStats and Sports Reference. Recruiting rankings via 247Sports' composite rankings unless otherwise noted.

    Follow Brad Shepard on Twitter, @Brad_Shepard.

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