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Florida State football, recruiting news: Former Seminole DB included on NFL.com's young players to watch list

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Unsurprisingly, an inside look at last year’s numbers by ESPN’s David Hale prove that FSU tailback Dalvin Cook was by far the best running back in the ACC in 2015 and seems poised to retain that honor in 2016. Although there are a number of threats to Cook’s claim of being college football’s best running back (Leonard Fournette at LSU, Christian McCaffrey at Stanford), the ACC’s crop of running backs does little to measure up with the Seminole.

Nearly a quarter of Cook’s rushes last year gained 10 yards or more, which is an astounding rate — and more than double that of McMillian or Ollison, by comparison. Last year, drives that included at least one 10-yard run translated into points nearly twice as often as those that didn't. Cook's big-play ability is among the best in the country, though Hood, Conner and Yearby turned in strong numbers, too.

Considering Cook is among the best RBs in the country, it should come as no shock that he was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list on Thursday.

On the latest episode of the Nolecast, Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith examine Florida State’s recruiting situation and look ahead to ACC Kickoff.

Brendan Sonnone, a Florida State beat writer with Noles247, searches for a trend in how Jimbo Fisher utilizes younger quarterbacks.

Even though FSU’s 2016 season opener against Ole Miss will take place at a neutral site, Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, the Rebels’ head coach Hugh Freeze looks at it another way.

Speaking of that season opener, Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly has some high aspirations for himself which he shared at SEC Media Days.

Alumni

Former Seminole cornerback and current Buffalo Bill Ronald Darby was included on NFL.com’s Making the Leap series, which is designed to highlight emerging players who could have breakout seasons in 2016.

As a rookie, Darby ranked just outside the top corners in the NFL. In Year 2, he'll nudge his name further into the national conversation.

Darby was the bright spot on a disappointing Bills defense in 2015. Imagine what he might do if Buffalo generates an actual pass rush in 2016.

I expect quarterbacks to start looking elsewhere to throw the ball, negating some of Darby's chances to make plays. His passes defensed totals (he had 21 in 2015, fifth-most in the NFL) could take a dip, but his impact will take a leap. Darby should be touted as one of the next up-and-comers at corner and could earn his first Pro Bowl nod. He and Gilmore also will push for the honor of top corner tandem in the NFL by the year's end.

Former FSU basketball player Okaro White, who went undrafted after finishing his career with the Seminoles in 2014, inked his first NBA deal on Thursday, signing a partially-guaranteed contract with the Miami Heat.