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Head to Head: Derwin James Jr. vs Dalvin Cook

It’s 3rd and 5 and the offense is outside their opponents 20-yard line. If the offense converts they’ll be inside the red zone with less than a minute to go in the half. Otherwise, they are settling for a field goal and the half is likely to end tied up. In our second Nole versus Nole scenario, on the offensive side of the ball, we have the all-time leading rusher in Florida State history Dalvin Cook ready to go in the I formation. On the defensive side of the ball, we have one of the hardest hitting safeties in the game Derwin James Jr. Who wins?

Both have made numerous thrilling plays while their time at Florida State. Let’s start with Dalvin Cook. The 5-foot-11, 210 pound speedster was quite the challenge to stop once he got into the open field. Cooks ability to make lateral cuts and quick hesitation stops makes him one of the hardest running backs to tackle. A perfect example is the 72-yard touchdown vs Miami in 2015. Everett Golson pitches the ball Dalvin Cook and Dalvin is off to the races. At the NFL Combine, Cook ran a 4.49 40-yard dash which was one of the fastest in his draft class. Can someone like Derwin James stop this man when he’s at full speed?

Derwin James put college football on notice during his freshman year wearing Garnet and Gold. While playing 12 games as a true freshman James recorded 91 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 9.5 tackles for loss. Although James’ sophomore season was ended after the 2nd game when he underwent knee surgery, he came back as a junior and put up similar numbers. With comparisons to Sean Taylor, we show you some of James’ hardest hits while playing at Florida State.

While in school I’ve had the opportunity to watch both Derwin James and Dalvin Cook play in the Garnet and Gold. If I had to choose one of these two when going head to head I would have to go with Derwin James. Although Dalvin Cook is known for his speed, I feel Derwin James has the quickness and agility to stop Dalvin in his tracks and make the big stop when it matters most.

The offense pitches out to Cook on a sweep towards the outside and the talented running back uses his agility to get a step on the linebackers as he tries to round the corner. However, the lateral quickness of James is too much to handle as the Los Angeles Chargers safety collides into Cook to stop him just short of the sticks.

The good news is,  Seminole fans will have the opportunity to watch this matchup take place later this year when the Minnesota Vikings play the Los Angeles Chargers in California on Dec 15.


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