Today is the release date of EA Sports' newest installment of the NCAA Football franchise. With little else going on, it had me thinking: one of the key elements to each team in the game are its Impact Players", usually the three highest rated players on the team, but generally those expected to make the biggest contributions on the roster. For instance, last year's Impact Players for Tech were Embry Peeples, Orwin Smith, and Julian Burnett, if I remember correctly. However, coming into this season, Peeples and Burnett are gone. Who will replace them?
My personal picks would be Jeremiah Attaochu and either Rod Sweeting or Jemea Thomas. Yes, they're both on defense, but I don't think anyone on offense besides Smith has really proven themselves to be gamebreakers. If he were returning, Stephen Hill might be considered, but otherwise Tevin Washington was good but not exceptional, just like David Sims was at B-Back. At A-Back and wide receiver we have minimal experience, meaning I won't lean on them to make a big impact, and at O-Line, well, I wouldn't consider them "impact players" simply due to the lack of measurable stats (sorry, Goon Squad). On defense, only Izaan Cross returns up front, though he and TJ Barnes both show a great deal of potential and could end up being huge assets (pun totally intended). The linebackers are in a bit of a transition phase, with Attaochu seeming like the only surefire piece. The secondary is the biggest strength on defense, and I could see Rod Sweeting playing a huge role at corner, as well as Jemea Thomas as a bit of a utility player. Sweeting has the ability to shut down another team's top receiver, while Thomas has great ball skills and instinct that can allow him to turn a game around on a dime.
So there you have it. My picks are going to be Orwin Smith, Jeremiah Attaochu, and Rod Sweeting for impact players going into this fall. What say you, FTRS readers? Who do you have the biggest expectations for going into this fall?