football Edit

Transfer Tracker: Indiana RB Sampson James enters the portal

Sampson James
Sampson James

The Transfer Portal has changed the landscape of college football. So at Rivals we bring you the Transfer Tracker, where we analyze players entering the portal and rate them on what kind of impact they could make at their new home.

Next up in the tracker: Indiana running back Sampson James.



CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State



James emerged as one of the top prospects in the Midwest early in his recruitment and drew attention from several major programs. He ended up making an early commitment to Ohio State, choosing the Buckeyes in March of 2018. His commitment would last into the fall, at which point he ended up flipping to in-state Indiana. At the time, his addition was viewed as a major victory for the Hoosiers program.


One of the highest ranked signees in Indiana's history, James didn't waste much time making an impact, seeing action in each of the Hoosiers first five games. As the season wore on, his action increased, including two starts late in the year, against Purdue and in the Hoosiers bowl game against Tennessee. James finished the year as Indiana's second-leading rushing, carrying the ball 81 times for 275 yards and three touchdowns. He surprisingly announced his plans to enter the portal this week. He will have three years of eligibility remaining at his next school.


Ohio State is in sudden need of running back help, but it seems like a reunion is unlikely. Because of his talent, James is likely to be a popular name, but his sudden decision to leave makes predicting his next home a tough proposition.


“He was one of the highest ranked commits for Indiana in years and held a ton of promise as a guy who could make an early impact so someone will be getting a plug in ready big back with nifty feet. He had size and was a downhill runner coming out of high school and I think he’s a Power Five catch for someone.” – National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell

Impact Rating: 8.2 out of 10


The Transfer Portal continues to change the way college football programs recruit and mange their rosters so we here at continue to evolve our coverage. Each time a player of note enters the portal, we will examine their potential impact on the college football landscape and assign an impact rating, both when they enter the portal and when they choose a destination. The scale is from 1-10 and the description below explains the scoring scale.

1.1-4.0 — Not a big impact expected, likely a non-starter and down the bench depth player.

4.1- 6.0 — A solid impact can be expected in the right scenario and has the potential to battle for a starting job.

6.1-9.0. — A high impact player who won’t change a program but will certainly be a very good contributor and starter.

9.1- 9.9 — A very high impact player who should start the moment he steps on the field and will change the outlook of a program immediately.

10 — A franchise transfer who has a chance to be an All American and one of the elite players in college football.