NoleGameday

Derwin James week one highlights

Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire

Florida State star defensive back Derwin James returned to the field on Saturday for his first game action in almost a year. The redshirt sophomore suffered a lateral meniscus tear in the Seminoles second game last season. The injury required surgery and James used the rest of the season to rehab.

James was back at full health by spring and showed that during the annual garnet and gold game in April. He finished the exhibition with seven tackles and two sacks, showing the playmaking skills that he flashed as a freshman. His first season in Tallahassee will go down as one of the greatest ever. James finished 2015 with 91 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

The Haines City native didn’t miss a beat in his first game back against Alabama. James finished the defeat with six tackles and half a sack. However, he was close to recording two to three more sacks. James also almost came down with an interception. He deflected a pass from Hurts before bobbling it back into Hurts’ hands. The top ranked safety in Rivals recruiting history showed how much he can impact a game. The `Noles played him at safety, cornerback, and linebacker during the matchup with the Crimson Tide. Expect James to get some snaps along the defensive line too.

Though he didn’t lead FSU in tackles, Matthew Thomas has ten, James was flying to the ball on every play. He also was never burned in coverage and did a good job of leading the Florida State defense. The elite safety certainly proved his status as one of the best players in college football during the opening week of the season. Look for him to connect on a couple of those near-sacks in week two against UL-Monroe.

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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