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Florida State football, recruiting news: FSU ahead of Bama in latest ESPN rankings

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Your daily dose of Florida State football, recruiting, and alumni news.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Florida State
Jimbo Fisher
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Football

FSU holds strong at No. 2 in ESPN’s post-spring power rankings, but there was some other shifting in the top three.

2. Florida State

2016 record: 10-3, 5-3 ACC

Last Way-Too-Early ranking: 2

Returning starters: 7 offense, 9 defense, 2 special teams

Key losses: RB Dalvin Cook, OT Roderick Johnson, WR Kermit Whitfield, WR Jesus Wilson, G Kareem Are, DE DeMarcus Walker, CB Marquez White

Outlook: There were two welcome sights for FSU fans in the spring game: safety Derwin James was back on the field and early enrollee Cam Akers looked like the Seminoles' next star running back. Akers, ESPN's No. 1 running back in 2017, ran for 87 yards on 10 carries in the spring game and emerged as the heir apparent to departed star Dalvin Cook. James, who played in only two games last season because of a left knee injury, looked healthy with seven tackles and two sacks. FSU's offensive line remains a work in progress, although Josh Ball might have taken the lead to replace Roderick Johnson at left tackle. The offensive line will have to gel quickly, with a Sept. 2 opener against Alabama in Atlanta looming on the schedule.

David Visser took a look at what the future holds for Florida State football.

For more on what the future of football as a whole holds, Spencer Hall of SB Nation analyzed some changes we could see in the near future.

Football does hold the unique identity and accompanying risk of being a sport encouraging repeated, enthusiastic, and yes, violent contact. Any future involving something recognizable as football has to include at least an element of that, and should. Part of the innate appeal of the sport, even if only played in a backyard or recreationally, is the violence, the speed, the chase, and yes: the understanding that getting caught or beat might mean contact with another player.

That is the crucial difference football needs to embrace and understand. A sport that is watched and not played is a bloodsport, a spectacle. It has no investment from those watching, no claim held, no understanding of the cost, the experience, the time, the stress, or the reality of the thing being observed. The slow reaction to the issue of head trauma at every level is a perfect demonstration of this effect: Without actual stakes, and divorced from their own reality, fans and observers can’t really even being to grasp a splinter of the violence they see.

Last weekend’s NFL Draft was evidence of the fact that NFL teams don’t particularly care if top prospects are skipping bowl games and there’s no sign that this will change soon as written by ESPN’s Andrea Adelson.

Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft has three Florida State players going in the first round of his first 2018 NFL mock draft.

4. Los Angeles Rams: Derwin James, S, Florida State

This draft has shown the value of safeties, and James’ talent is off the charts. As a freshman in 201, he had 91 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and five pass breakups. His talent level is extremely high.

14. Tennessee Titans: Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State

Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo are both getting up there in age, and Sweat can be a star. If he stays healthy, he might not be around this long in the first round whenever he goes pro.

23. Cleveland Browns (via Texans): Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

The Browns didn’t get a cornerback in the first three rounds of the draft this year and could go into next year’s draft with that position near the top of the team’s needs.

Recruiting

Florida State quarterback signee James Blackman took to Twitter to announce that he will be enrolling at FSU in the near future after his high school graduation.

Other Sports

Corey Clark, columnist for the Tallahassee Democrat, sat down with FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox to talk how long he sees Mike Martin staying the head coach of the baseball team as well as who he has in mind as possible successors.

Florida State golf alumnus Jonas Blixt took home his third career PGA Tour win with a playoff victory in the Zurich Classic on Monday.