Comparisons are an inevitable part of college football recruiting. In this week’s series, National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney breaks down each of the top 50 players in the 2022 class and National Columnist Mike Farrell provides a current college or NFL player that would be a great comparison.
MORE 2022 PROSPECT COMPARISONS: Nos. 41-50 | 31-40
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30. Will Campbell
Gorney’s analysis: The LSU commit is big and tough and likes to play mean at the offensive tackle spot, so he should be a very good fit in Baton Rouge. Campbell could still add some weight to his frame, which is a good thing since he’s still so physical at about 290 pounds. Off the field, the high four-star is pleasant and nice, but when he straps on his helmet Campbell plays with an edge, likes to dominate at the offensive tackle spot and that physical nature definitely stands out.
Farrell’s comparison: Sean Rhyan. You might not know about Rhyan, who plays at UCLA, but the NFL does and Campbell has a chance to quietly emerge the same way with his aggressive style.
29. CJ Williams
Gorney’s analysis: Williams is a muscled-up outside receiver who has great hands and who is a solid route runner so he can get open against the best cornerbacks or battle his way back to the football. He doesn’t have elite speed down the field but he can create separation and what really stands out most about Williams is that he’s very coachable, he is a great teammate and he will do anything needed on the football field to get a victory.
Farrell’s comparison: Bru McCoy. McCoy hasn’t done anything at USC yet and just got suspended, but these guys are mirror images on offense. Williams is thick and huge and will be hard to handle physically.
28. Cade Klubnik
Gorney’s analysis: The Clemson commit will be in the five-star discussion during rankings meetings in August because he was phenomenal once again at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge and at the Elite 11 this summer. He’s not incredibly physically imposing but he is such a sharp passer, he spins it so well and Klubnik can make all the throws. Outside of that, the Austin (Texas) Westlake recruit is a born leader, a positive force with those around him and people gravitate toward him and want to play with him.
Farrell’s comparison: Jared Goff. I like Klubnick a ton and he does everything effortlessly and with precision like Goff did out of high school. If he can become the No. 1 overall pick, as Goff was out of high school, that won’t be so bad.
27. Ty Simpson
Gorney’s analysis: A coach’s son and gym rat who plays with a quiet confidence and never-say-die attitude, Simpson is an excellent fit for Alabama’s offense and he should shine in Tuscaloosa. Simpson is a winner. On the field, the high four-star takes some risks but also makes some highlight-reel plays that are really impressive to see. Can he get away with all that stuff in the SEC? Probably not, but Simpson is also smart enough not to chance it. The arm talent is there, the athletic ability is there and his game translates best to games, not camp settings.
Farrell’s comparison: Shea Patterson. Patterson gets a bad rap when it comes to his college career because he was so highly ranked, but he had a lot of success at Michigan. Simpson moves around and extends the play in a similar manner.
26. Shawn Murphy
Gorney’s analysis: Alabama has apparently told Murphy he could play basically the inside or outside linebacker spots and that makes sense since the five-star can come down and hit or drop back, play in space and cover receivers down the field. Over the long run, Murphy probably bulks up even more and moves inside full time, but his level of athleticism and coverage ability is definitely something special.
Farrell’s comparison: Reggie Ragland. Murphy is a big linebacker who projects as an inside thumper to me, but he can also drop in coverage. Both players covered a ton of ground and play sideline to sideline. Ragland had success at Alabama and is with the New York Giants in the NFL.
25. Mykel Williams
Gorney’s analysis: At the Rivals Five-Star Challenge, Williams lost some reps but won more because he has a great get-off, he uses his hands well to knock away the offensive tackle and then the USC pledge has nice speed to the outside or power inside to win reps. Is he a surefire five-star defensive end? That will be up for debate during rankings meetings, but he has impressive size, athleticism and power and those are rare traits.
Farrell’s comparison: Rasheem Green. It’s hard not to see the comparisons between Williams and Green ever before the former decided to go to USC. They work off power with sneaky speed.
24. Tyre West
Gorney’s analysis: West continues to develop physically and will probably be a defensive tackle long term, one with excellent speed and the ability to finish plays that stretch to the sidelines. He can also destroy offensive linemen and live in the backfield at times since he mixes brute strength and agility very well as a defensive lineman. The tough call on the Georgia commit is that he does not show up to many national events in the offseason, so one does wonder whether he’s as elite as some others in this class or if he’s just really good in small-town Georgia.
Farrell’s comparison: Chris Jones. Jones was an athletic rush end in high school with great size who made the transition to elite defensive tackle and played with impressive leverage. West should be a similar prospect at the next level.
23. Walker Howard
Gorney’s analysis: At the Elite 11, Howard showed he has the fastest and smoothest drop among high school quarterbacks in the 2022 class and he showed off excellent accuracy, something that he struggled with a little bit while working back from an injury at the regional Rivals Camp in Dallas. There is no question Howard has special arm talent and he moves really well. This summer he also showed he can dial it back and deliver almost every pass perfectly as well.
Farrell’s comparison: Zach Wilson. Howard isn’t as tall as Wilson but the way he delivers the ball downfield and can throw across his body is similar to the former BYU star and current New York Jet.
22. Gunner Stockton
Gorney’s analysis: Stockton does an excellent job of escaping pressure coming right at him, spinning away from it, resetting his feet and then finding receivers down the field. The Georgia commit can also throw on the run off-platform where he has shown better arm ability over the last few years and Stockton almost looks more comfortable when he’s throwing on the run and looking for receivers when the play breaks down. Will Stockton be able to escape SEC pressure like that and make some of those throws against elite defensive backs? Probably not. But he’s a talented kid who has a little gunslinger in him.
Farrell’s comparison: Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger runs more than Stockton and Stockton is more accomplished as a passer at the same stage, but the two have a similar build and can really hurt you either way. They are also great leaders, so a comparison to the former Longhorns star based on size and toughness is not a bad thing.
21. Devon Campbell
Gorney’s analysis: Campbell has played tackle, but he projects as an offensive guard over the long term. At either position he’s a physical mauler who wins all the time. The five-star likes to mix it up, likes to exert his power on defensive linemen and he does a great job of resetting his hands and feet and winning reps.
Farrell’s comparison: Liam Eichenberg. Campbell is an athletic tackle who has a high ceiling and plays with a mean streak. He’s more athletic than Eichenberg at the same stage, but they have similar qualities. Campbell can still add a couple inches and mimic the success of the Notre Dame star and Miami Dolphins second-round pick.