7-in-Seven Countdown: Top 2022 high school prospects
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - We are just a week away from KPLC’s coverage of Two-A-Days high school previews and to get ready, we wrap up our 7-in-Seven countdown.
We finish the countdown with the top seven 2022 high school prospects.
An honorable mention list will be released on Sunday.
**The stars are based on recruiting services Rivals and/or 247Sports.**
7. Reginald Burks (★★), LCCP, OG
Offers: Lamar*, Grambling State, ULM, McNeese, Marshall, Northwestern State
The list opens as it did a year ago, with a standout lineman. LCCP offensive tackle Reginald Burks starts things off thanks to a breakout season a year ago. His All-State play helped the Blazers finish in the semifinal round of the Class 3A playoffs.
While the 6′2, 295-pound future guard has a nice collection of offers under his belt, he committed to the Lamar Cardinals in July citing a strong belief in LU offensive coordinator Patrick Covington.
Rivals National Recruiting Analyst Sam Spiegelman believes Lamar is getting a steal.
Sam Spiegelman of Rivals on Burks:
“While you might be a little on the shorter side here, I don’t think you’re lacking any of the power, strength or ability to move guys off the ball. I think it was a little bit puzzling why his recruitment didn’t takeoff especially among in-state schools. Yes, he is undersized, but he is so strong and so consistent. He’ll make every sort of block and he is such a critical part of not only LCCP’s passing game, but you talk about those big holes for TreVonte’ [Citizen] to run through, and they come through their offensive line. I think his production speaks for itself. I think he is a quality high school football player and if he were a few inches taller, I think we would be having a discussion about more group of five and power five teams interested down the line.”
6. Crajaun Bennett, Iowa, DB/WR
Offers: Marshall, UAB, North Texas, McNeese, Southern, Southeastern
For the second year in a row, the Iowa Yellow Jackets have a defensive back make the list. This time, the speedster, Crajuan Bennett, slides in at No. 6 following a productive offseason that saw him garner some solid scholarship offers.
The two-sport athlete is a force on the basketball court, but his future lies on Saturdays in the fall. His elite speed is his calling card at cornerback and several schools have taken notice. Since April, Bennett has received offers from North Texas, UAB, Marshall and McNeese. Purdue and Tulane have also shown interest.
Spiegelman said he believes Bennett is a player that can further expand his offer sheet with a solid senior season.
Sam Spiegelman of Rivals on Burks:
“He’s a track kid with blazing speed. Runs 10.75 in the 100m and a 20 in the 200m. At defensive back, he’s a little bit of a ball hawk and can cover down field. He’s not the sharpest tackler and he does have some areas of his game that he hast to work on, but he has a lot of positive traits that you want in a defensive back. He has size, speed and playmaking ability on the back end. He is someone that is obviously not highly ranked going into a senior season at Iowa, but he is someone that has shown some flashes on tape and at different various settings this offseason. I think there are a lot of areas in his game that he can work on, but he is someone that probably has some of the biggest chances to rise because if that natural innate ability.”
5. Bryant Williams (★★★), Grand Lake, OT
Offers: UL Lafayette*, Colorado, Tulane
The next entry happens to be the biggest. Grand Lake offensive tackle Bryant Williams comes in at the fifth spot following a strong junior season that saw him help the Hornets to their first-ever title game appearance.
Following that game, Williams received an offer to play for Billy Napier’s UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. He quickly bought into the program and committed in June.
The colossal lineman is 6-8 and 315 pounds and has the strength to back it up. Williams isn’t all brawn though, as he believes his speed and agility are top-notch for his frame.
Spiegelman said Williams is the type of prospect that coaches love.
Sam Spiegelman of Rivals on Williams:
“He has raw strength and raw explosiveness and he can just dispose of guys and move them off of the ball and put them on the turf with ease. You will find a role for a guy like that on your team whether that is on the offensive or defensive line. Coach [Billy] Napier has a history of doing this. He is getting a guy of that size, with that power and you will find a role for him. He moves guys off the ball so easily at his level of competition. If they can find some more technique and bring it out of him, his future is through the roof.”
4. Keshlon Jackson (★★★), LCCP, WR
Offers: Louisiana Tech*, Arkansas, Ole Miss, West Virginia, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Indiana, etc.
Another entry and another LCCP Trailblazer makes the list as wide receiver Keshlon Jackson speeds in at No. 4. Jackson, a three-star recruit by all major recruiting services committed to Louisiana Tech earlier this month.
That commitment was fitting considering former teammate Solomon Lewis signed with the Bulldogs in December. Jackson will bring a similar skillset although Jackson has a bigger frame at 6-0, 170 pounds.
Last season in a loaded receiver room, Jackson was able to total over 500 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The top four receiving leaders on that Blazers team either signed or are committed to Division I Universities.
Spiegelman said for Jackson to stand out amongst a loaded receiving corps shows his value.
Sam Spiegelman of Rivals on Jackson:
“I think he is a really solid receiver that can make a ton of plays underneath for you and also has the ability to go and take the top off the defense in certain situations. He’s wanted from power five to group of five—just all over. He is a speedy reliable pass catcher. He is sure-handed and can do a lot of things for you, but I think his reliability is something that should not be taken for granted. His production likely would’ve been better if he hadn’t had [other Division I] receivers and obviously TreVonte’ Citizen around him. That’s what happens when you’re on a loaded team. Probably, his best football will be ahead of him for that reason.”
3. Curtis Deville (★★★), Iowa, WR
Offers: Purdue*, Louisville, Florida State, Tulane, North Texas, Southern, etc.
Another wide receiver makes his way on the countdown, as Iowa’s Curtis Deville comes in at No. 3. The speedy wideout is committed to Purdue which means three local athletes will be headed to Power 5 conferences in December.
Deville, a three-star prospect, came onto the scene this spring earning offers from Purdue, Florida State and Louisville. Rivals has him ranked as a top-30 player in the state following an all-district season in which he totaled over 450 yds and three touchdowns.
At 6′1, Deville is a big fast receiver with track speed. Although he’ll play running back for the Jackets in the fall.
Spiegelman said he loved Deville’s tape from the moment he saw him.
Sam Spiegelman of Rivals on Deville:
“One of his coaches sent me his tape in the spring and I was wowed. I put an early grade on him and then to see him up close at LSU camp, it was awe-inspiring. I think he proved that he was one of the best pass-catchers in the state. He reminds me a lot of Ja’Marr Chase in the fact that he is a big yards after catch receiver. He made a ton of contested catches while at LSU and he showcased his route running ability and the ability to get open or outjump defenders. A ton of his production at Iowa comes after the catch in the open field, in return duties or out of the backfield. There are just a bunch of creative ways to get him the ball early and let him do the work.”
2. Trevor Etienne (★★★★), Jennings, RB
Offers: LSU, Clemson, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Florida State, etc.
An Etienne on the prospect list shouldn’t be surprising as Trevor follows in the footsteps of Travis to be a four-star running back as a senior. Like Travis, Trevor’s offer sheet is an impressive one with offers from 10 of the 16 SEC schools including LSU, Alabama and Georgia.
Etienne’s lofty recruiting rankings are not only based on what he’s done at camps, but what his resume looks like on Friday nights. Over the last two seasons, Etienne has over 4,000 yards and 50+ touchdowns.
Rivals has Etienne as the sixth-best prospect in the state and 75th overall. The recruiting service lists him as the second-best all-purpose back in the country as well.
Spiegelman said his versatile skillset not only rivals his brothers, he believes it surpasses it.
Sam Spiegelman of Rivals on Etienne:
“Personally, I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I think Trevor has a higher ceiling [than Travis]. I think he is a tougher runner than Travis. I know it sounds crazy and it’s not a knock on Travis because he is a first-round pick, and he did it all at Clemson. I think Trevor is going to be better. Trevor has dominated every setting we have seen him at in terms of a camp thing. He has speed, explosiveness and hands. He makes difficult catches and can play in the slot in any given offense. His explosiveness as a pure running back is as good as Travis’ if not better. I think the sky is the limit”
1. Tre’Vonte Citizen (★★★★), LCCP, RB
Offers: LSU*, Auburn, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Michigan, Penn State, etc.
The top spot goes to another running back and honestly it could have gone either way between Etienne and Citizen for the top spot. Citizen nabs No. 1 thanks to his position in the recruiting rankings as Rivals lists him as the fourth-best player in the state and the 49th in the country. He’s also the No. 2 running back in the class after committing to LSU in July.
Citizen is a rare breed among elite running back prospects in that he’s played more linebacker up to this point than running back to keep him fresh for college and beyond. Citizen has only 135 carries thus far in his LCCP career for 1,121 yards and 14 touchdowns. That average yards per carry of 8.3 shows his explosiveness. Expect much more usage out of No. 12 this season.
His bloodline is further proof of what Citizen can be as his father is a McNeese Hall of Famer with over 3,200 career yards and played two seasons in the NFL.
Spiegelman said Citizen is the complete package at running back thanks to his power and speed.
Sam Spiegelman of Rivals on Citizen:
“If you were a college, you could’ve said hey, we need him at running back or linebacker and that in itself is a really an impressive feat. TreVonte’ as a runner is absolutely ruthless. He’s a downhill runner with verified 4.5 track speed. Ultimately, I think he is a three-down back and I don’t think there is anything he can’t do. He contributed in the passing game, he’s a willing blocker and his dad coaches running backs, so, he knows the ins and outs of the position. In the SEC that’s what you’re looking for. You are looking for someone to move the chains consistently and he’s done that at a very high level while at LCCP. He is also the driving force of their office. When you think about what you look for in the SEC, you draw up someone who looks a lot like TreVonte’ Citizen.”
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