NFL Media reports that Florida state true freshman S Derwin James "left a lasting impression on his Seminoles teammates with his physical style and ability to make plays all over the field" during spring practices.
"He might not be the starter at safety, but he'll be a key figure in nickel and dime packages. James looks like the latest defensive back who will make his mark at FSU," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Bryan Fischer. NFL Media ranks James as the No. 8 impact freshmen in the land. The second cousin of former Miami and NFL star running back Edgerrin James was the No. 8 player in the ESPN 300.
Oregon senior QB Vernon Adams "should beat out junior Jeff Lockie to become the Ducks' starter and serve as a stop-gap of sorts while younger quarterbacks become more acclimated," reports NFL Media.
NFL Media ranks Adams (6-0, 190) as the No. 9 most impactful transfer. It should be noted that other outlets have predicted Lockie will beat out the highly-touted Eastern Washington transfer. Adams, a two-time Walter Payton Award finalist, has thrown for 10,438 yards and 110 scores already in his three-season career.
Stanford redshirt freshman DL Solomon Thomas "is primed to be a key player for the team in 2015," reports NFL Media.
"Stanford has plenty of pieces to replace on defense this season, but it might be reloading instead of rebuilding thanks in part to players like Thomas," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Bryan Fischer. "Injuries slowed Thomas a bit during spring practices, but the Pac-12 will quickly get to know his name." Thomas was a five-star recruit by Scout and the nation’s 20th-best overall recruit in 2014.
NFL Media ranks Auburn WR Jason Smith as the No. 11 most impactful transfer.
Smith was one of the 10 best JUCO transfers nationally last year. "Smith (6-1, 180) was a quarterback in high school and in his one season in junior college, but he will be a slot receiver for Auburn. He looked comfortable in his new position during spring ball and gives Auburn another playmaker," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Mike Huguenin. "Smith will not be Auburn's go-to receiver -- that role belongs to senior D'haquille 'Duke' Williams, another Mississippi Gulf Coast alum -- but he does give new Tigers starting QB Jeremy Johnson a dangerous receiver in space." Auburn has one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the country.
Louisville senior DE Devonte Fields is expected to start, reports NFL Media.
"Fields (6-4, 250) won't arrive at Louisville until next month, and the hope is he becomes the pass-rush force he was at TCU," writes College Football 24/7 writer Mike Huguenin. "Louisville's top two edge rushers from last season are gone -- both were drafted -- and Fields is expected to start." NFL Media ranks Fields as the No. 2 impactful transfer in the country with some trepidation. "Fields easily could be the biggest success story on this list; he also easily could be the biggest bust," noted Huguenin.
Penn State T Paris Palmer "went through spring practice and is projected to take over for second-round pick Donovan Smith at left tackle," reports NFL Media.
Palmer, a transfer from Lackawanna CC (Pa.), was forced to go the JUCO route due to poor grades and a torn ACL during his senior season as a high schooler. He was a consensus national top-15 JC prospect. "He is athletic and has a nice upside, but needs to get stronger and add bulk," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Mike Huguenin.
Florida State graduate QB Everett Golson's turnover issues were a "lethal combination of carelessness and bad luck," according to CSN Chicago Notre Dame insider JJ Stankevitz.
"Golson's turnover issues were a lethal combination of carelessness and bad luck. I wrote about it earlier this month on CSN, but to sum it up: Had Golson had neutral luck, he would've thrown about five fewer interceptions and had two fewer lost fumbles. But looking back, the carelessness began in Notre Dame's 4th game -- an easy win over Syracuse -- in which he had four turnovers," Stankevitz told the Orlando Sentinel. The former Notre Dame signal caller was a turnover machine in 2014, as he threw 14 interceptions and lost 8 of 12 fumbles, which eventually lead to him losing the starting job to QB Malik Zaire.
FSU redshirt sophomore LB Matthew Thomas will be out for three to four months with a shoulder injury.
The former five-star recruit has missed most of spring football, after he underwent shoulder surgery. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Thomas had his season ended in 2013, after he suffered a shoulder injury. In 2014, Thomas missed half the season and was suspended for a violation of team rules. When Thomas returned to the lineup he dealt with ankle and shoulder injuries. Before surgery, the Florida State prospect was competing for a starting spot this season.