The unanswered questions in the college football recruiting class of 2022 will dissipate in less than a week's time. From the race for the top recruiting class to the destinations for the top available football recruits, most should be revealed by the morning of February 3.
The traditional signing period for football recruits opens on Wednesday, February 2, where most of the dust should soon settle on the future of the sport.
At the very top, the SI99, six of the prospects are uncommitted as of Thursday. Most will be taking a final visit this weekend and coming to a public pick come Wednesday.
Edge Shemar Stewart, Opa Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace
The top-ranked defensive recruit in the land, the race for the south Floridian is as fast paced as one may have expected. Texas A&M held the momentum at the end of 2021, fresh off of another trip to College Station, but the New Year has brought a stronger push from the likes of Miami and Georgia. The U was at Stewart's house the moment the contact period opened at midnight on January 14 and has carried momentum since. He spent time in Coral Gables that weekend and will return to the local program for his final official visit of the process this weekend. Georgia hosted Stewart last weekend and continues to try to stay in the mix, but Stewart's recruitment appears to be a close call between the Aggies and Canes at this time.
IOL Devon Campbell, Arlington (Texas) Bowie
This one has been a two-team race for quite some time as the Red River rivalry takes a final turn in the class of 2022. Awaiting the second day of the signing period to finalize the process, it will be Oklahoma or Texas for the top interior offensive lineman come next Thursday. The visits are done, the pitches have been made and the senior has been in evaluation mode for some time. Longtime Sooners offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has helped Oklahoma close the gap Texas theoretically built and winning this recruitment would be the biggest for Brent Venables' staff to close out the cycle. Campbell's high school uniforms and colors are built to model the Longhorns' and it could prelude his collegiate career if the longstanding priority from Steve Sarkisian and Kyle Flood is too much for OU to overcome.
LB Harold Perkins, Cypress (Texas) Cy Park
The newest addition to the best available list, Perkins decommitted from Texas A&M this week after making the public lick at the Under Armour All-America Game on January 2. Even when he did, he admitted he would continue to take visits and that the race was far from over when it came to his signature. Florida got him on campus the first weekend of the contact period and Billy Napier's staff made a strong impression. Mario Cristobal and Miami were slotting to get the two-way Texan on campus this weekend but LSU and Brian Kelly changed his mind and he will wrap up the visit tour in Baton Rouge. There is a lot of smoke around this recruitment and a surprise could be in store, but the Gators and Tigers coaching staffs have to feel most at ease compared to others at this time.
"I always said I wanted to be like an X-factor. So, that's kind of how Coach Napier sees me," Perkins said after his official visit to Gainesville.
OT Josh Conerly, Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach
Considering the biggest group of programs, at least publicly, of anybody on this list has many guessing at where the All-American offensive tackle will land. The big Miami official visit weekend to wrap up the cycle will include Conerly, who was of course coveted by Cristobal and offensive line coach Alex Mirabal while at Oregon -- and there was always extra juice if the Ducks could pluck a Washington native like the senior is. The pitch has carried over to Coral Gables but Michigan and Oklahoma have been able to get him on campus for official visits as well. Pac-12 programs Oregon, USC and of course the local Washington Huskies are all still fighting to keep him in the region simultaneously. Most of the head coaches in the race have already been by Seattle to see their top target in person so beyond the south Florida visit, most of the process is behind the best available tackle in America. SI sources indicate a quiet confidence at UW but old foe Cristobal will get the final impression.
IDL Christen Miller, Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove
A pair of official visits over the last two weekends, to Oregon and Florida A&M, have opened the Peach State prospect's eyes to a degree. There's no doubting the HBCU movement among the nation's top prospects following No. 1 recruit Travis Hunter's December decision, so it's a matter of when it will extend to similar programs. The Oregon trip was familiar because of new head coach Dan Lanning, who of course built a rapport with Miller while at Georgia over the last few years, but it's the national champions that have been the favorite to keep the interior defender within state lines in the end. Miami, which sent Cristobal and assistant coaches to the Miller home this week, is making a late push and will get him on campus this weekend as well. Ohio State rounds out Miller's top group but it would be considered an upset should he pick the Buckeyes on Wednesday.
S Jacoby Mathews, Ponchatoula (La.) High
The one-time LSU commitment and state native has trimmed his list to a final trio. The Tigers are still in the thick of the race, along with SEC foes Florida and Texas A&M down the home stretch. Florida made a strong impression on a recent official visit, where he was able to reconnect with Corey Raymond -- the coach Mathews once committed to at LSU. Napier's staff was also courting him at Louisiana, so there is more familiarity there despite it being the senior's first time in Gainesville. A&M is in the mix but the primary battle here appears to be between the pair of new coaching staffs with plenty of ties to Louisiana. A final visit back to Baton Rouge this weekend will loom large in the final call because Florida has pushed all it theoretically could to date.
"I feel comfortable if I was to sign the paper to Florida," Mathews told All Gators.