Derwin James named the top player in college football by SI

Derwin James only played in two games as a sophomore before suffering a season-ending meniscus tear in 2016. James spent most of his season trying to motivate and lead his teammates from the sidelines while also trying to heal. Now, he’s back and ready to roll.

James was in uniform for Florida State’s annual spring game in April, and he appeared fully healthy. He finished the exhibition with 7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. It appears the talented safety hasn’t lost a step despite the injury.

In fact, the hype is starting to brew for James. Many media members consider him as one of the top players in the country. Sports Illustrated is currently projecting Derwin James to be the #1 player in college football during the 2017-18 season.

Here’s what SI has to say on James,

“There’s a high degree of risk involved with this pick. If things break the way expects them to, though, the reward will be enormous. James appeared in only two games last season before undergoing surgery to address a knee injury. If the effects of that injury linger into the fall, James’s play will suffer as a result. Fortunately, there are signs that he has fully recovered. He shone with seven tackles and two sacks in Florida State’s Garnet and Gold game in April, and he was caught on camera throwing down a dunk the same month that would have earned better scores than most of the jams in the NBA’s contest in February.

James may be the only player in the country capable of lining up virtually everywhere on the defensive side of the ball, and Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher might want to consider dialing up a running play for him or asking him to run a deep route. Billing James as the next Jabrill Peppers is underselling the number of tasks the 6’3”, 211-pound redshirt sophomore can perform on the field at a high level. The NFL team that eventually uses a top-10 pick on James will probably want him to focus on one position. Fisher should give James the opportunity to demonstrate why that approach would be a gross misuse of his talents. James is the best player in college football because he can do more things well than anyone else.”

You can view Sports Illustrated’s top 100 college football players in 2017 here.

Dustin Lewis

Lead writer for NoleGameday. Majoring in English Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. Writer for FSView Sports and Hashtag Basketball.

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