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The constant churn of college football and its recruiting calendar never fails to amaze. As we’re mere weeks away from another exciting season, the steady flow of incoming recruits for future seasons keeps picking up momentum. It’s a never-ending balancing act between today’s business and tomorrow’s preparation, a high-wire performance of prioritization and planning by these robust coaching staffs at all times.
In the race for the best recruiting class of 2022, some very well-known blue chip programs are jostling for top honors. According to the Rivals index, Notre Dame just leapfrogged to number one, thanks to the commitment of wide receiver CJ Williams our of Mater Dei high school in California. Rivals and other top recruiting agencies use a running total of points to determine class standing, so while Notre Dame’s ascendance to the top of the heap is impressive, it’s likely short-lived, considering that they have six more players committed than third-place Ohio State at the moment. Same goes for number two recruiting class Penn State, who jumped up to the top early thanks to a flurry of commitments (24 to be exact); but the volume will slow significantly, leaving PSU with a final number close to what they currently have now.
The real defining long-term factor for class rank won’t be number of players, since all programs will have roughly the same scholarships, but rather skill level. Currently Ohio State boasts an insane 4.13 star average; for context, Notre Dame has a respectable 3.76 average, meaning Ohio State’s players are just better prospects across the board. The SEC powerhouses like Alabama, Georgia, and LSU, as well as perennial power Clemson, will all rise significantly over the coming months as more top talent trickles in.
A few notes on four star recruit and Mater Dei captain, CJ Williams: During a five-game spring junior season in 2021, Williams caught 16 passes for 239 yards and five touchdowns. Two of those scores came in Mater Dei’s 34-17 triumph against archrival St. John Bosco. Williams has also committed to playing in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio in January 2022.
“Just to be able to say that I’m going to play football for the University of Notre Dame — that’s crazy,” Williams said. “That leaves me starstruck every time I think about it. The opportunity ahead of me is remarkable. I’m ready to play in the blue and gold.
“Notre Dame was the clear choice for me at the end of the day. It was somewhere I felt comfortable when I visited and on the phone building a relationship with the coaching staff.”