With first signing day just around the corner and the world of college football changing with all the high profile coaching changes, this class and recruiting process seems to be one to watch.
So far, Oklahoma and Oregon have already lost significant recruits after Lincoln Riley and Mario Cristobal left Norman and Eugene for USC and Miami, respectively. Many of the Sooners’ previous commitments have followed Riley to USC, although the same has not yet happened with Cristóbal.
But as important as the names of the coaches who have been on the move, there are some recruits with pretty big names, either as a result of production in the field, who they are related to, or both.
Sporting News takes a look at some of the famous father-son duos featured in the Class of 2022.
1. Cristian Driver, defensive back
- Engaged: Penn state
- 247 composite classifications: No. 18 DB nationally, No. 37 player in Texas
- NFL famous dad: Packers wide receiver Donald Drive
As father and son, the Drivers were impact players on the outfield. Donald spent his entire 13-year career with the Packers, achieving more than 10,000 receiving yards in his career while playing with four Pro Bowls. Cristian, meanwhile, has played both sides of the ball at a high level at Argyle Liberty Christian in Texas.
He earned all-district honors in high school and has added versatility that could prove to be an advantage down the road, although he plans to be a safety early on for the Nittany Lions.
Driver is part of a Penn State class that is currently 247 listed as No. 5 for 2022.
2. Antonio Gates Jr., wide receiver
- Engaged: Michigan state
- 247 composite classifications: No. 46 WR, No. 9 player at Michigan
- Famous dad: Antonio gates
Young Gates seems to be every so often the prolific pass catcher his father was. Currently a wide receiver at Dearborn Fordson High School, Gates Jr. remains in the state and plays for Mel Tucker’s team after one of the best Spartan seasons in recent history.
Gates Sr. is one of the best tight ends in the history of the sport. He is the third all-time in receiving yards among tight ends, made eight consecutive Pro Bowls between 2004-11 and was inducted into the NFL Team of the Decade in the 2000s.
3. Eden James, runner
- Engaged: Howard
- 247 composite classifications: No. 97 RB, No. 176 player in Florida
- Famous dad: Edgerrin james
Young James could cause quite a stir and have a huge ripple effect by casting Howard. The HBCU has struggled recently, but has five black national championships in the program’s history. He burst onto the scene this year rushing for 2,021 yards and 28 touchdowns in 12 games.
His father, one of the newest members of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, played collegiate in Miami before leading the NFL in races twice and earning four Pro-Bowl nominations.
Eden chose Howard over FBS schools like Air Force, Army, Indiana, and his father’s school, Miami.
4. Mason Taylor, tight end
- Engaged: LSU
- 247 composite classifications: No. 20 TE, No. 57 player in Florida
- Famous dad: Jason taylor
Another son of a Hall of Famer, Taylor became engaged to LSU to former coach Ed Orgeron. He missed most of his junior season through injury, but he could become a key part of new coach Brian Kelly’s success as the offense reorganizes with quarterback Max Johnson on the transfer portal. Johnson’s brother Jake, also a highly-wanted tight end, was engaged to LSU but withdrew after his brother entered the portal.
That move could pave the way for Taylor to carve out a bigger role on offense early on. LSU has also been successful in producing skill position players who continue to be successful in the NFL, even at tight end.
5. Christian Harrison, defensive back
- Engaged: Tennessee
- 247 composite classifications: No. 98 cornerback, No. 103 player in Florida
- Famous dad: Rodney harrison
Harrison was previously engaged to Hugh Freeze and Liberty, but then switched to Tennessee earlier this month. A three-star from Florida, Harrison’s father, Rodney, was a Pro-Bowl and All-Pro defensive running back for the Chargers and Patriots throughout the course of his NFL career.
The young Harrison enjoyed success as a senior in Florida playing on both sides of the ball and is committed to the Vols as a defensive back. He had three picks and two passes defended in 11 games this season at cornerback and could be a welcome addition to the Volunteers’ defense that ranked 103rd in passing yards allowed.
6. Cole Pennington, quarterback
- Engaged: Marshall
- 247 composite ratings: No. 83 QB, No. 12 player at Kentucky
- Famous dad: Chad pennington
Penningtons, one of the few players who is following in his father’s footsteps by going to the same school, has long excelled at Marshall. Cole’s father, Chad, was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy for Thundering Herd in 1999 and became a first-round pick and a two-time NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He also finished second in MVP voting in 2008 and retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in completion percentage.
Cole, meanwhile, is one of Kentucky’s best players and is coached by his father. He threw for 1,624 yards with 17 touchdowns in nine games as a senior and could have a good chance to learn behind current Marshall quarterback Grant Wells, who was one of the best passers in the US Conference this year.
7. Owen McCown, quarterback
- Engaged: Colorado
- 247 composite classifications: No. 48 QB, No. 110 player in Texas
- Famous dad: Josh McCown
McCown posted impressive numbers as a senior this season, completing 262 of 388 passes (67.5 percent) to go along with 3,362 yards and 36 touchdowns to just four touchdowns in just 12 games. It was a career year for the young McCown, whose father, Josh, was an NFL quarterback who dressed for 12 teams as a backup and as a starter during his career.
Owen posted prolific numbers in one of the best high school soccer states in the nation, which could bode well as he helps try to revamp a Colorado offense that struggled last season with Karl Dorrell.
8. RJ Maryland, tight end
- Engaged: Boston College
- 247 composite classifications: No. 31 ATH, No. 66 player in Texas
- Famous dad: Russell Maryland
Maryland comes from a Texas powerhouse at Southlake Carroll Senior High School. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same high school as the Texas transfer and 2021 quarterback Quinn Ewers’ number one overall commitment.
He’s a vertical threat in the passing game as a tight end, having amassed 1,103 yards and 14 touchdowns in 15 games as a senior. With BC quarterback Phil Jurkovec scheduled to return fully healthy, he could emerge as a great weapon down the road.
Maryland’s father, Russell, was the first overall pick for Miami (FL) in 1991, where he was an All-American and a two-time national champion. He then won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys at defensive tackle and made the Pro Bowl in 1993.
9. AJ Vinatieri, kicker
- Offers: Western Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Miami (FL), Michigan
- 247 composite classifications: N / A
- Famous dad: Adam Vinatieri
The son of one of the best kickers in NFL history, Vinatieri has several offerings from Power 5 schools, but has yet to commit anywhere. He was named All-State at Indiana for his performance this season as one of the best special teams players in the state.
His father, Adam, attended FCS South Dakota State and then set several NFL records as a kicker, winning four Super Bowls and being named All-Pro three times in the process.
10. Rex Haynes, wide receiver
- Offers: State of Arizona, State of Colorado, State of San Diego, State of San Jose
- 247 composite classifications: No. 190 WR, No. 116 player in California
- Famous dad: Mike haynes
Yet another son of a Hall of Famer, Haynes is a major threat as a wide receiver. In his senior year at Cathedral Catholic, he had 24 receptions for 548 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games. He averaged 22.8 yards per reception his senior year and has averaged 25.5 yards per reception during his high school career.
His father, Mike Haynes, is a member of the professional and college football Hall of Fame, and played for the Patriots and Raiders. He made nine Pro Bowls and was the 1976 Defensive Rookie of the Year as a defensive back for Arizona state.
11. Elijah Warner, quarterback
- Offers: UConn, Hawaii, South Georgia, Ball State
- 247 composite ratings: N / A
- Famous dad: Kurt warner
Although Warner arrives at signing day without a high ranking, he posted impressive numbers this year as a senior in Texas. In 12 games, Warner completed 64.6 percent of his passes for 2,742 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Warner’s father, Kurt, is arguably one of the best undrafted free agents in NFL history, carving out a Hall of Fame career after winning two MVPs, a Super Bowl, and a Super MVP award. Bowl.