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Florida State football, recruiting news: Does FSU have the top defensive backs in the ACC?

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Florida State v North Carolina State Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images


The Seminoles bring back All-ACC cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, who tied for the national lead with eight interceptions a year ago. But he’s not the big story. It’s preseason All-American Derwin James, who missed nearly the entire 2016 season with a knee injury and is eager to show the nation just how good he can be when the season kicks off. James plays multiple positions in the Florida State secondary and also brings leadership intangibles that were missing while he was on the bench. Veteran safety Nate Andrews returns as well after getting a medical redshirt for a fifth season, while Trey Marshall showed promise a year ago.

  • As for special teams, FSU ranked outside the top five in the ACC. The No. 1 honor was given to Virginia Tech.

There’s plenty of potential here, to be sure. FSU has enough talent on its roster to field coverage units far bigger, faster and stronger than anyone in the ACC. It’s just that, in 2016, that talent didn’t translate to results. The Seminoles finished dead last in the league in net punting and punt-return average. They lose their top kick returner and punt returner. Their kicker, Ricky Aguayo, had his moments, but he was hardly the deadly accurate machine his older brother proved to be. All of this is fixable, of course, but the point is that, for a team poised to make a run at a national title, it’d be nice to feel a little more comfortable with the special teams than FSU fans currently should.


  • Florida State handed an offer to 2018 DB Cameron Jonas from Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Dwyer. The 6’1 187 lb. safety is a three-star prospect ranked the No. 504 overall player in the nation, No. 40 among safeties.

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