An updated version of The Next 25, our annual rankings of the best 25 prospects for the class of 2022, will be released Thursday. Don’t expect many changes to the top of the list as a handful of juniors-to-be separated themselves from their peers despite limited ability to show off those skills this offseason due to pandemic travel restrictions and camp cancellations.
There are five five-star recruits in the state for the 2022 cycle, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Here are their cases for the No. 1 spot.
Quinn Ewers, QB, Southlake Carroll
FYI: 6-3, 195; five stars; No. 1-ranked quarterback
Top schools: Committed to Texas
Ewers led Southlake Carroll to the semifinals of the Class 6A Division I playoffs. He threw for 4,003 yards and 45 touchdown passes to just three interceptions during his sophomore season and is currently the second-ranked player in the country and the top-ranked quarterback. Ewers is the prototypical quarterback for the modern era. He’s big, has a strong arm and is mobile enough to buy time outside of the pocket.
He won’t win many races, but Ewers did rush for 568 yards and nine rushing touchdowns on 84 carries. His right arm is what earned the soon-to-be junior offers from nearly every major program. He’s an elite, generational talent who has drawn early comparisons to Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.
Devon Campbell, G, Arlington Bowie
FYI: 6-4, 265; five stars; No. 1-ranked guard
Top schools: Texas, LSU, Oklahoma
It’s usually tackles that are in the conversation when it comes to designating the state’s top offensive line prospect. It takes a special prospect to reach those heights as a guard or center. That’s exactly what Campbell, an interior line prospect, is. He’s the No. 1-ranked guard in the country and currently the only interior lineman holding a UT offer. He possesses plenty of athleticism to be a tackle, but his upside is on the interior like 2019 line prospect Kenyon Green. Texas is battling LSU and Oklahoma for his signature, among others.
Caleb Burton, WR, Del Valle
FYI: 6-0, 165; five stars; No. 1-ranked wide receiver
Top schools: Texas, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Georgia
The state’s best receiver prospect again resides in the Austin area, just like Lake Travis’ Garrett Wilson in 2019. Burton is a lean, athletic playmaker who can play multiple receiver positions. He holds an offer from each of the four teams that competed in the 2020 College Football Playoff and is a high-priority target for Clemson. He was a second-team all-district selection as a freshman and first-team as a sophomore. His father, Charles, is the head coach at Del Valle, so Burton’s attitude, work ethic and football IQ are above reproach.
Denver Harris, CB, Galena Park North Shore
FYI: 6-1, 180; five stars; No. 5-ranked cornerback
Top schools: Texas, Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Ohio State
Harris looks like a cornerback who was created in a lab somewhere. He’s tall and long. He’s quick-twitched in his athleticism and does a great job of spinning his hips and running with speedy receivers. Harris is tested on a daily basis playing for North Shore, the two-time Class 6A Division I state champions. He possesses every tool imaginable and knows what it takes to become a consistent starter in a high-pressured program. He was a first-team all-district selection as a sophomore.
Harris’ physicality separates him from the other elite defensive backs in 2022, at least at this juncture of their development.
Malick Sylla, DE, Katy
FYI: 6-6, 230; five stars; No. 3-ranked defensive end
Top schools: Oklahoma, Texas A&M
Sylla’s stock continues to soar despite an unprecedented spring evaluation period being canceled due to the pandemic. He has added offers from Penn State, Auburn, Florida State and Oregon since the beginning of May. One look at him reveals why college coaches drool over his potential.
He possesses the perfect frame for a defensive end and can grow into a real three-down force as he continues to naturally add more strength to his long, wiry frame. Sylla is in no way a finished product, which is scary considering the impact he’s made as a young player at a prominent Class 6A program like Katy.