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Noles News 1/26: FSU goes in-house with linebacker target Dontavious Jackson

Another day, another in-house visit for Jimbo Fisher and the coaches, just eight days before National Signing Day.

- Jimbo Fisher and fellow assistant coaches visited four-star LB target Dontavious Jackson. Jackson will announce his decision on National Signing Day and is choosing between FSU, Alabama, Texas, UF and Michigan. Florida State is trying to get Jackson to visit this week.

- Top Florida State commit, five-star CB Levonta Taylor, will visit FSU this weekend on an unofficial visit attempting to persuade other targets to committing to FSU.

- Safid Deen of the Tallahassee Democrat wrote about the bond between commits Stanford Samuels III and Bradley Jennings Jr. and what it means as they begin to follow in their fathers' footsteps.

- For the second day in a row, FSU picked up another commitment, this time from Valdosta (Ga.) FB Gabe Nabers.


- Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston was named to the Pro Bowl earlier today after a phenomenal rookie season in which he threw 22 touchdowns and ran for another six.

Florida State Football:

- ESPN took a look at the 10 most impactful transfers heading into next season with two players on that list lining up opposite of FSU, come the 2016 season.

5. DL Gerald Willis, Florida to Miami

Willis, ranked No. 42 in the 2014 ESPN 300, sat out last season because of transfer rules but was dominant playing on the scout team. With a new coaching staff, Willis has an opportunity to reach his potential. Has he left this baggage behind in Gainesville?

7. QB Luke Del Rio, Oregon State to Florida

Del Rio is on his third different Power 5 school (he started at Alabama) but this one could finally land him a starting job. He impressed the coaching staff on the scout team last year while sitting out because of transfer rules.

- Travis Haney of ESPN listed 15 candidates poised to break out next season, with one Florida State defender on that list while numbers 2-4 are on ACC opponents.

2. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina QB

2015 stats: 555 passing yards, 6 TDs; 101 rushing yards, 3 TDs

After a nearly flawless performance against Delaware (17-20, 312 yards, four TDs), it appeared as if Trubisky would overtake up-and-down vet Marquise Williams. But Williams always had a way of saving his best for when his job was threatened.

There's no wondering now. Williams is gone, and it's time for Trubisky, the No. 7-rated dual-threat prospect from the 2013 class.'s David Hale, for one, has publicly said that he believes the 6-3, 220-pounder will be the most statistically prolific QB in the ACC this fall. Clemson'sDeshaun Watson might have something to say about that, but it gives you an idea of how Trubisky is regarded.

3. Lamar Jackson, Louisville QB

2015 stats: 1,840 passing yards, 12 TDs; 960 rushing yards, 11 TDs

It wasn't until the last two games of the year that Jackson, a freshman in 2015, finally seemed to settle in. And perhaps that was true for the coaching staff, too, since it's rare to see Bobby Petrino's offense revolve around a quarterback who runs as well as, if not better than, he throws.

As other suitors for the job were trotted out through the course of the fall, it became crystal clear that Jackson was the best player and playmaker that Louisville had at the position. His work learning as a passer will dictate his ceiling, and he has a teacher with an outstanding track record.

4. Christian Wilkins, Clemson DT

2015 stats: 33 tackles (4.5 for a loss, 2 sacks), 1 forced fumble

Wilkins arguably already had a breakout season as a freshman, but he will become a bigger featured piece of the Clemson defensive line now that Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd have moved on. And he'll become even more disruptive as he learns and grows in the scheme.

End Austin Bryant is another Tigers D-lineman to watch after seeing him handle being thrown in against Oklahoma when Lawson was out. If you aren't a believer in position coach Dan Brooks and coordinator Brent Venables' work in assembling and re-assembling quality lines, then you are not paying close enough attention.

9. Josh Sweat, Florida State DE

2015 stats: 41 tackles (5 for a loss, 2 sacks), 1 interception, 2 passes defended, 3 fumble recoveries

Expectations for Sweat as a freshman were set low due to a knee injury during his final year in high school, but he recovered quickly and became an immediate impact player for the Seminoles.

Pro Football Focus wrote on Insider that his plus-13.3 grade was the highest for any first-year edge rusher. Now he'll make a move toward becoming a star, those close to the program have indicated. As evidenced by how much Sweat played as a freshman, the program has been hungry for its next dominant pass-rusher. Now it has him.

- Athlon Sports is very high on FSU in 2016, predicting the 'Noles to fight for a playoff spot and come in second behind Clemson in the ACC Atlantic.

The ACC should have two playoff contenders next season, as there's not a huge gap separating Clemson and Florida State prior to spring practice. Despite a rebuilding year in 2015, the Seminoles won 10 games and earned a spot a New Year's Six Bowl. Nearly all of the two-deep is back on offense, including running back Dalvin Cook and standout left tackle Roderick Johnson. Question marks remain on the offensive line and at receiver, but the quarterback position will be under the microscope this offseason. Can Sean Maguire hold off a challenge from freshmen Deondre Francois and Malik Henry? The defense made big strides last season by limiting opponents to 4.68 yards per play. End Demarcus Walker is a candidate for All-America honors, and safety Derwin James and end Josh Sweat are back after standout freshmen seasons. The development of the linebacking corps will be an area to watch in spring practice.


- Tomahawk Nation managing editor and beat writer David Visser was awarded by the FWAA for his piece in late 2014 about Florida State being the villain of college football. You can read that article here.