Photo via Greg Oyster/247Sports
Florida State safety Derwin James isn’t a name that you hear often in college football; he hasn’t been relevant since 2015.
In the 2015 season, the safety was named to the freshman all-american team by several news outlets after clocking 91 tackles with 9.5 for loss, 2 forced fumbles, and 4.5 sacks. He looked to be on the upward trend for Heisman consideration by his sophomore year.
Early last season against Charleston Southern, James tore his meniscus forcing him to miss the last 11 games of the season.
The Florida native is ready to play for the Seminoles this upcoming season and is already considered a Heisman candidate, according to Pro Football Focus.
He would be the first defensive player to win the Heisman since 1997, when Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson won it. Woodson went on to play for the Oakland Raiders and the Green Bay Packers, before retiring in 2015.
After being out an extended period of time with the injury, James is excited to get back in the game, per his own twitter page.
James excels in every aspect on defense, making him a strong force for the 2017 season. Florida State is looking to prove that they deserve to be in the national title conversation again, after not having been to the championship since 2013.
Recently, The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook ranked FSU as the second most likely team to win the CFB title with odds of 7/1.
The Seminoles finished last season in the top 10. With many players returning, a strong recruiting class, and a returning James, Florida State will be a force to be reckoned with.
We’ll see how much of an impact James has against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the season opener, but the Tide would be smart to not throw in his direction if they want to win the game.
If they throw his way, and James gets an interception or two in the season opener, it would be a big resume builder for his 2017 Heisman trophy campaign.
Nicholai Babis is a sophomore International Studies major at Vassar College. He specializes in College Football. He is a lifelong Seminoles fan, as well as a Rays fan and a Tampa Bay Bucs fan. He grew up in Tampa, Florida. He is a co-owner of the JR report and works for Athletics at Vassar College. He is the college football contributor at the JR Report. Follow Nicholai on twitter @nibabis . Hit him up if you want to discuss CFB, NFL, golf, tennis, and more.