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Rivals Rankings Week: Initial 2022 WR/TE rankings

Jake Johnson
Jake Johnson (Rivals.com)

This week we are looking at the first position rankings for the 2022 class, including wide receiver and tight end positions that do not look as strong at the outset as their immediate predecessors. Wide receiver features just one five-star to start the cycle, while the tight end position puts just a single prospect in the initial Rivals100.

CLASS OF 2022: Wide receivers | Tight ends

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CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS WEEK SCHEDULE

MONDAY: Who should be No. 1 in 2022? | Who should be the top QB? | Who should be the top OT?

TUESDAY: Rivals250 revealed | Four prospects earn fifth star | Mike Farrell's thoughts | Who should be the top APB? | Top CB class ever?

WEDNESDAY: QB rankings | RB rankings | WR/TE rankings | OL rankings

THURSDAY: DL rankings | LB rankings | DB rankings | ATH rankings

FRIDAY: State rankings spotlight

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TEAM WITH THE TOP COMMITS: Penn State    

Kaden Saunders
Kaden Saunders (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Three of Penn State’s four verbal commitments in the 2022 class are pass-catchers. Their fourth is a quarterback, so James Franklin and company have addressed the passing game early.

Four-star receiver Kaden Saunders kicked off the class in late July. The speedster will be used primarily in a slot receiver role at Penn State, but could also help in the return game. The other two pass-catching commitments for Penn State are tight ends. Milwaukee’s Jerry Cross joined the Nittany Lions’ commitment list just days after Saunders pledged. He found a spot at the back end of the Rivals250, landing at 248 in the initial ranking. Holden Staes rounds out the group, issuing his commitment last week. Staes ranks as the No. 15 tight end prospect in the first ranking of the position. No other school has more than one ranked wide receiver or tight end committed in the 2022 class.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH PENN STATE FANS AT BLUEWHITEILLUSTRATED.COM

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PLAYER TO WATCH: Elijah King

One of the most unique stories in this 2022 recruiting class is that of Caledonia, Minn., receiver Elijah King. A two-sport star, King has received scholarship offers in both basketball and football and is rated as a three-star prospect in both sports.

As a football prospect, King checks in at No. 39 at the wide receiver position, which is the highest-ranked three-star in the ranking. Iowa, Minnesota, Stanford, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Penn State have all offered.

On the basketball side, he is a point guard ranked No. 139 in the Rivals150 for the 2022 class. Iowa, Minnesota and Stanford have each offered him for hoops as well.

King has not indicated which position he will pursue in college or whether he may try his hand at both sports.

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PROSPECT MOVING UP: Jake Johnson

After a couple of strong classes in 2020 and 2021 featuring good depth of talent at the top of the position, tight end places just one prospect in the Rivals100 to start. It almost featured none, were it not for a ratings bump from Georgia four-star Jake Johnson who landed at No. 82 in the ranking.

The next-highest ranked tight end does not come in until No. 159 in the Rivals250. Johnson started off as a 5.8 four-star when the first ratings were handed out back in March, but after seeing him in a workout this summer it was clear he made good strides during the shutdown period and was bumped to a 5.9 four-star. Johnson is the younger brother of class of LSU freshman quarterback Max Johnson and the son of former NFL quarterback Brad Johnson.