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Florida State football, recruiting news: Is Derwin James the best player in college football?

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NCAA Football: Mississippi at Florida State Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The best player in college football is Derwin James. He probably won't win the Heisman. He probably won't be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft but he's the best player in college football.

I played safety so maybe I'm biased but James' play on defense is goose-bumps inducing. That position is critical. It's the quarterback of the defense, the last line of defense, the coach on the field. If you can trust the safety, you can do a lot defensively.

But James is something different than your typical safety. Look at the way Lamar Jackson impacted games for Louisville. He was a threat with his legs every time he touched the ball but he was a big play through the air waiting to happen as well. The Derwin-less Seminoles felt that more than anybody in a 63-20 loss last season.

James has the same kind of impact on defense. He's an eraser on the back end, an intimidator over the middle and a linebacker in run support. But James also adds a pass-rushing element takes things up a notch. The guy could be nickel defensive end if he wanted and be a nightmare for pass protectors. It's almost the equivalent of Lamar Jackson rolling down as an additional edge blocker for 'wildcat' runs.

Anybody that forgot just how good James was got a refresher course at Doak Campbell Stadium two weeks ago. In Florida State's spring game, James had seven tackles and two sacks. He looked like a wild animal let of the cage ready to make up for lost time.

Florida State is going to be a national title contender in 2017 and James will be a big reason why. But regardless of whether the Seminoles finish as the nation's best team, I fully expect James to prove he's the nation's best player.

There is not a player in the draft that improves the Redskins’ outlook on Day 1 more than Dalvin Cook. His vision and knack for hitting well-timed creases on stretch runs are a perfect match for what Washington wants to do in a largely zone-running scheme. Cook now gets to run behind a much better offensive line than he did in college, which should allow the back with the highest 2016 FBS elusive rating more time and space to operate.


  • Florida State sent out a few offers on Tuesday. One was to 2019 WR Trey Palmer from Kentwood (LA) Kentwood. The high school sophomore already has offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Miss St., LSU and Georgia.
  • 2018 DE Thomas Booker from Baltimore (MD) Gilman. The four-star prospect is ranked the No. 244 player in the nation and No. 9 among strong side defensive ends according to 247 Composite Rankings. He now has 26 offers from Clemson, Ohio State, Stanford, Michigan and Notre Dame to name a few.
  • Four-star defensive back Kelvin Joesph from Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville Magnet also received an offer from FSU. The 2018 LSU commit is ranked the No. 39 overall player in the country and No. 6 among cornerbacks according to 247 Composite Rankings.

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