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College Football 2022: How every five-star recruit in the 2022 class played this season

Atlanta, GA, USA; Jackson State Tigers wide receiver Travis Hunter (12) reacts after catching a touchdown against the North Carolina Central Eagles during the second half during the Celebration Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan cornerback Will Johnson: The No. 16 overall recruit in 2022 led all five-stars with an 88.2 grade this season.

LSU linebacker Harold Perkins: The No. 9 overall recruit led all Power Five linebackers with a 91.0 pass-rushing grade this season.

Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton: The No. 27 overall recruit ranked second in the Power Five with 4.6 yards after contact per attempt. 

Estimated Reading Time: 13 mins

Every year, college football fanbases across the country get excited about their team's incoming recruiting class, eager to see the next stars of their favorite program.

The best of those players are given five stars in the recruiting process. There are about 32 five-stars every year, making them essentially college football’s version of first-round picks.

Here’s how every five-star recruit in the 2022 class graded out in their true freshman season.

(Note: This uses On3 Sports’ consensus rating, which equally weighs On3 Sports, 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals in one ranking.)


1. DI Walter Nolen, Texas A&M Aggies

2022 grade: 68.1 (289 snaps)

Nolen was one of Texas A&M’s starting interior defensive linemen this season as a true freshman. 

The No. 1 overall recruit showed encouraging signs as a pass rusher, posting a 13% pressure rate that ranked sixth among Power Five interior defensive linemen with at least 120 pass-rushing snaps. That mark also led the SEC, which is even more impressive considering who finished in second. That would be Georgia’s Jalen Carter, PFF’s No. 2 prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.


2. CB/WR Travis Hunter, Jackson State Tigers

2022 grade: 83.9 at cornerback (503 snaps), 82.0 at wide receiver (87 snaps)

Hunter made history when he signed with Jackson State, becoming the first five-star recruit ever to go to a non-FBS school.

He subsequently dominated in his true freshman season for the Tigers, with his 83.9 defensive grade a top-15 mark among FCS cornerbacks after he picked off two passes and forced eight incompletions.

His unbelievable ball skills transferred over from defense to offense, as well. The true freshman also caught 17 passes for 187 yards and four touchdowns.

Hunter is transferring from Jackson State to Colorado, following head coach Deion Sanders. 

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