Let’s make it clear from the jump: This is not about NFL potential.

This is all about impact on college football, and the ability to change games every fall Saturday, starting this Saturday, Aug. 26.

While many of my Top 25 players for the 2023 season will also be elite NFL prospects, the beauty of college football is you don’t have to reach the metrics of the NFL Combine to be elite.

You just have to make plays when they’re needed most. These are the guys who will get it done in 2023.

25. Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee

The skinny: He can throw it a country mile, and Vols coach Josh Heupel has a track record of developing quarterbacks. Why wouldn’t you bet on a guy who, in the past 2 seasons as a backup to Hendon Hooker, threw 144 passes without an interception — and 12 TD passes. Watch the Orange Bowl. That’s the Milton you’ll see in 2023.

24. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan

The skinny: He doesn’t have the speed of running mate Donovan Edwards, but he’s brutally efficient and runs angry. He had 1,463 yards and 18 TDs in 2022 — and missed the last 3 games with a knee injury. Michigan will use Edwards more in 2023, but that doesn’t mean Corum can’t have another big season.

23. Dorian Singer, WR, USC

The skinny: May have been the most sought skill player in the transfer portal. His speed and ability to highpoint balls is impressive; his yards after the catch can be devastating. He averaged 16.7 yards per catch in 2022 at Arizona, and had 6 TDs. Those numbers will balloon with Caleb Williams.

22. Dallas Turner, edge, Alabama

The skinny: Has spent the past 2 seasons opposite superstar edge rusher Will Anderson. He regressed last season as a pass rusher (8.5 sacks in 2021, 4 sacks in 2022), but had a more complete season. This is the money year: He’s eligible for the NFL Draft, and he’s the weakside edge on the defense.

21. Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

The skinny: While Texas has been trying to find itself, Worthy has been the microcosm of coach Steve Sarkisian’s impact over the past 2 seasons: 122 catches, 21 TDs. Wyoming transfer WR Isaiah Neyor returns (missed 2022 with a knee injury) and Georgia transfer AD Mitchell arrived this spring. That’s 2 legit playmakers to keep defenses from doubling Worthy.

20. Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

The skinny: A hidden gem as a freshman, a blossoming superstar as a sophomore. Odunze had 75 catches for 1,145 yards and 7 TDs in 2022 and will have a monster junior season with the further development of elite QB Michael Penix Jr. The speed, the dynamic ability after the catch — the can’t-miss highlights.

19. Riley Leonard, QB, Duke

The skinny: The most undervalued player in college football. Duke won 9 games, and Leonard was nearly impossible to stop in the pass or run game. He’s 6-4, 215 pounds, runs with power and can separate from second-level defenders. Then there’s the impressive arm talent and accuracy that will make him a 1st-round pick in April.

18. Abdul Carter, LB, Penn State

The skinny: About a month into his freshman season in 2022, Carter was already drawing comparisons to former Penn State All-American Micah Parsons. He’s that good — and he’s that athletic and always around the ball. He had 6.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles and 10.5 tackles for loss.

17. Jeremiah Trotter, LB, Clemson

The skinny: Of all the elite linebackers at Clemson in the Dab Swinney era, Trotter is by far the best. But because Clemson has slipped in the national conversation, Trotter is overlooked. A devastatingly big hitter, he had 6.5 sacks, 2 INTs and a pick-6.

16. Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

The skinny: Three years of right player, wrong offensive fit at Auburn translated to a huge 4th season in 2022 at Oregon. There’s no better QB when breaking contain and throwing off-schedule. New Ducks OC Will Stein gets his 1st Power 5 OC job, and says Nix can play even better than 2022 — when he had 43 total TDs (14 rush).

15. Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

The skinny: He was inconsistent in 2021, and got much better in 2022. By the end of the season, he was playing as well as any corner in the nation. He had 15 passes defended, and an interception — and teams stopped throwing to his side of the field.

14. Jamon Dumas-Johnson, LB, Georgia

The skinny: The most consistent player on the Georgia defense last year. Jalen Carter received the hype, Dumas-Johnson delivered reality. Watch him on pass blitz (4 sacks), or when he fills the hole and punishes ball carriers.

13. Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

The skinny: You just don’t throw to his side. Or you do, and the inevitable happens: he had 5 INTs, 13 passes defended and returned 3 INTs for touchdowns. He’s full of big plays in his career, and averaged 16.5 yards per punt return last year.

12. Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

The skinny: Once he was reunited with coach Kalen DeBoer (who was Penix’s OC at Indiana in 2019) — and was 2 years removed from a devastating knee injury — Penix became the dangerous playmaker who nearly led Indiana to the Big Ten Championship Game in 2020. His accuracy improved by 12 percent in 2022 (to 65.3%), and he led Power 5 QBs in passing yards (4,641) and had 31 TDs.

11. Jared Verse, edge, Florida State

The skinny: Transferred from FCS Albany in 2022, and quickly became 1 of the most disruptive edge rushers in the nation (9 sacks). He has been in FSU’s strength program for more than 17 months now, and will be in the best shape of his career when the season begins against LSU.

10. Sam Hartman, QB, Notre Dame

The skinny: Threw for 77 TDs in the past 2 seasons, and had an ACC-record 110 career TD passes at Wake Forest. An accurate deep thrower, Hartman does struggle with intermediate throws. Last season was the first time in 5 years at Wake Forest that Hartman completed more than 60 percent of his passes.

9. Quinshon Judkins, RB, Ole Miss

The skinny: The classic Lane Kiffin story: He was the only FBS coach in the stands watching Judkins play high school ball in Alabama. And he often tweets out the very photo showing it. A powerful punishing runner with game-breaking speed, Judkins is a throwback SEC tailback from the 1980s. Kiffin convinced Judkins to stay in Oxford after a record-setting freshman season (1,567 yards, 16 TDs) as heavyweight Power 5 schools tried to lure him into the portal.

8. Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The skinny: Only started 8 games last season, and missed the final month with an undisclosed injury. Not many people watch offensive linemen play, but don’t miss Fashanu. He swallows defensive ends and edge rushers. And he’s a punishing run blocker. He would’ve been the 1st OL picked in the 2023 NFL Draft had he left Penn State early.

7. Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State

The skinny: He’s not an elite thrower, but he’s the most unpredictably dynamic player in college football. He can beat you so many different ways by extending plays with his legs and athleticism, and making enough off-schedule throws — or scrambles — to break the will of a defense.

6. Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

The skinny: It’s not so much the way he can stretch the field, it’s his physicality after the catch. Once he reaches the second level, he’s difficult to bring down. Georgia can flex him outside to create a size mismatch with a cornerback, or move him in the slot to force a slower safety or linebacker to cover.

5. JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan

The skinny: The last time we saw McCarthy on the field, he threw 2 pick-6s in the Playoff semifinal. That’s not him — that’s not what he’ll be.

It took Jim Harbaugh a season to trust Andrew Luck at Stanford and give him more of the offense and increase his pass attempts. Luck threw the ball nearly 100 more times in Year 2 as a starter, and his touchdown passes increased from 13 to 32.

If McCarthy’s attempts increase by 100, his TD output will increase from 22 last season. While McCarthy isn’t the thrower Luck was, he’s a faster, more dynamic athlete.

4. Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

The skinny: On statistics alone, the argument could be made that Maye last year had the best freshman season of any quarterback in ACC history.

Jameis Winston had 4,276 total yards (291 rush) and 44 TDs (4 rush) in 14 games for FSU in 2013, and won the national title. Maye had 5,010 total yards (698 rush) and 45 TDs (7 rush), and won 9 games.

Maye is a 3rd-year sophomore, so more than likely, this will be his last year in college. He’s a potential Top 5 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

3. Harold Perkins, LB/edge, LSU

The skinny: A wildly impactful true freshman season in 2022. By the last month, there was no one in the nation playing better on defense.

A game-wrecker no matter where he plays on the field, the LSU staff put him on the outside as an edge rusher to get the most possible production (7.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, 2 INTs) from a player who was still adjusting to the college game. By the time November rolled around, they couldn’t take him off the edge.

He’ll play all over this season, but start at middle linebacker. He’ll move outside in pass situations, both as a linebacker and a true end.

2. Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

The skinny: Late last season, teams began to bracket Harrison in hopes of limiting his impact. Didn’t work. The speed, the athleticism and length, the run after catch.

The only question this season is quarterback: Does likely starter Kyle McCord fall in line with the rest of the Ryan Day quarterbacks at Ohio State (Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields, CJ Stroud) who put up 4,000+ yards and 40+ touchdowns seemingly as easy as rolling out of bed?

If McCord fits seamlessly, Harrison will set Ohio State single season receiving records — which is saying plenty, considering what has happened in the last 10 seasons in Columbus.

1. Caleb Williams, QB, USC

The skinny: I promised this wasn’t about the NFL, but we begin with a guy earning comparisons to Patrick Mahomes — the best player in the NFL.

Here’s the scary part: Williams is a better athlete than Mahomes. Williams’ arm strength and accuracy and release point are all primary reasons for the comparison. He has accounted for 79 TDs (16 rush) in 2 seasons at Oklahoma and USC — and only 9 INTs.

A gunslinger mentality, and a big play waiting to happen. Just like You Know Who.