Editor’s note: This final ranking concludes our annual Top 25 preview week. You can find the entire preview series here.

It’s tricky picking the Top 25 freshmen in the SEC. Or anywhere else.

Strictly listing the highest-rated recruits in the Class of 2022 could give a false impression of the impact they’re likely to have. Especially as rookies.

Sure the 25 highest-rated freshmen are going to have some kind an impact right away. But the ones going to Texas A&M, Alabama and Georgia will be facing the greatest competition for playing time.

Some whose ranking sits further down the line will get more playing time because they’re joining weaker programs.

But just because you get more playing time doesn’t mean you’re going to have a huge impact.

See, it’s tricky.

So we tried to balance the chances of earning an opportunity to play right away with the ability to seize that opportunity if and when it arrives.

In continuing with Top 25 week, here are the Top 25 freshmen in the SEC:

25. Jake Johnson, Texas A&M TE

Here’s an example of anticipated opportunity meaning a lot. Johnson (brother of A&M quarterback Max Johnson) is not one of the bigger names in the Aggies’ historically high-rated class. But Jimbo Fisher is focused on improving the team’s passing game, and the door is wide open for a newcomer to have an immediate impact at tight end.

24. Earnest Greene, Georgia OL

Greene isn’t going to start right away. But generally, he was considered ahead of the curve mentally even before he enrolled early. So he’ll get some playing time as a freshman, presumably on the interior of the line, though he did show versatility by playing some left tackle in the spring.

23. Bryce Anderson, Texas A&M S

Get used to seeing a bunch of new Aggies — especially ones who play defense. A&M has a lot of talent returning in the secondary, but it also has a lot of highly rated DBs in this class. New coordinator D.J. Durkin will find roles for lots of these guys in the 4-2-5 scheme. Anderson is a former dual-threat quarterback who enrolled early and was impressive in the spring game.

22. Kamari Wilson, Florida S

The Gators are trying to recover from a 2-6 SEC finish last season, so new guys will be given significant opportunities. Wilson might not start right away, but his ability to excel against the run and the pass led new head coach Billy Napier to prioritize the signing of Wilson, who enrolled early.

21. Kiyaunta Goodwin, Kentucky OL

The “Big Blue Wall” lost 3 starters from last season’s unit, so there are job openings, and the 6-foot-8 Goodwin will be in the rotation right away. He might even be in the mix to start at left tackle.

20. Jaheim Singletary, Georgia CB

The reigning national champions lost a lot of key players from their dominant defense — and they brought in a lot of highly rated defenders. Singletary didn’t enroll early, and he needs to add some weight. But he’ll still find his way onto the field this season.

19. Jacoby Mathews, Texas A&M S

Here’s another one of those newcomers who is too talented not to find a role in the Aggies’ deep secondary. He didn’t play a whole lot of safety in high school because the former basketball player started his football career as an option quarterback, and he split time between the secondary and wide receiver during a senior season shortened by injury.

18. Marvin Jones Jr., Georgia LB

He was once a quarterback, and later he was a wide receiver. But over time, Jones has added 30 pounds and looks like a linebacker. Jones’ combination of athleticism and strength will enable him to get on the field and get after the passer.

17. Will Campbell, LSU T

New coach Brian Kelly has been encouraged by the improvement the line has shown since his arrival. Campbell is one of the reasons for that after opening eyes during the spring and showing he could be the starting left tackle at some point in the fall.

16. Denver Harris, Texas A&M CB

Maybe A&M will be the latest program to call itself DBU. Harris enrolled early and showed enough during spring practice to suggest there will be snaps for him. He even got first-team snaps because of an injury above him on the depth chart.

15. Daylen Everette, Georgia CB

The Aggies didn’t land all of the top DB recruits in the SEC, though it might seem that way. The Bulldogs got some, and this early enrollee arrived with speed, size and a proven ability to break up and intercept passes. The secondary depth took a hit from the transfer portal, creating an opportunity for Everette.

14. Chris Marshall, Texas A&M WR

One of the fastest-rising stars in the Aggies’ star-studded class, Marshall could exceed even the high expectations for him. The former basketball player didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school, and he wound up a 5-star recruit in just 2 seasons.

13. Jihaad Campbell, Alabama Edge

No, we didn’t forget about the Crimson Tide. They have the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, but they also have enough returning talent to have been the overwhelming preseason pick to win the SEC. Campbell also played running back in high school, showing he has the athleticism to contribute right away and become an impact player as his weight and strength increase.

12. Conner Weigman, Texas A&M QB

Here’s the trickiest one of all. Weigman could zoom to the top of the SEC freshman class if he starts for the loaded Aggies. Or he could be an afterthought if he doesn’t play as a rookie. That’s why he landed in the middle of the pack. His rookie season depends on how he fares in a 3-man competition to start.

11. Malaki Starks, Georgia S

Recruited as an “athlete,” Starks is most likely to start out at safety. The Bulldogs have experience there, so his immediate impact could be limited, but he might also see time as a return specialist.

10. Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy, Texas A&M DL

He not only got a head-start academically and football-wise by enrolling early, but he took advantage of A&M’s weight program to add some bulk just since the end of his high school career. He’s positioned to outperform his already lofty ranking.

9. Jeremiah Alexander, Alabama Edge

The Tide always have a long line of defenders positioned to advance when positions on the depth chart open up. So Alexander has star-studded veterans in front of him, but he’ll play as a freshman.

8. Shemar Stewart, Texas A&M DL

With the logjam on the Aggies’ defensive front, Stewart doesn’t figure to break out right away. He’ll be a backup, but he’ll have a visible spot in what will be a very deep rotation.

7. Harold Perkins, LSU LB

A multi-talented athlete who also played running back and basketball in high school, Perkins can cover ground. The Tigers need depth at a position that recently saw 2 veteran backups, Antoine Sampah and Phillip Webb, removed from the roster.

6. Lebbeus Overton, Texas A&M DL

He was in position to be perhaps the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2023. But in April, he reclassified and emerged as the final piece to A&M’s 2022 class. Overton’s proven ability to play across the line and from a variety of stances will enable him to find an opening somewhere.

5. Evan Stewart, Texas A&M WR

The Aggies’ class is dominated by the defense, but it also has some key offensive players — none more significant than Stewart. He will play and might even start right away.

4. Mykel Williams, Georgia DL

After 3 Georgia defensive linemen were selected in the 1st round of the NFL Draft, there are opportunities for playing time. Williams will seize one of them and contribute to the rotation.

3. Aaron Anderson, Alabama WR

The planets are aligning for Anderson to be one of the more significant freshmen in the SEC. He’s one of the top incoming receivers in the conference, the Crimson Tide lost a lot of experience from last season’s group and Anderson is an outstanding return specialist.

2. Luther Burden, Missouri WR

The Tigers have several players competing to be the starting quarterback, and each would be wise to focus on throwing the ball to Burden, who’s strong and could earn a starting job during his freshman season. His ability as a return specialist enhances his ability to have an impact right away.

1. Walter Nolen, Texas A&M DL

The Aggies have the highest-rated class. The defensive line is the marquee group in the class. Nolen is the highest-rated recruit on the defensive line. It all adds up. His ability to be disruptive in the backfield will put him at the forefront of not only the A&M freshman class, but also the SEC’s.