ESPN has gone through and ranked the top 50 players for this upcoming football season with some of the bigger names near the top like Lamar Jackson and Sam Darnold. However, they aren’t at the very top of the list as that honor belongs to Florida State’s Derwin James.
Darnold was ranked No. 2 behind James while the reigning Heisman winner was slotted in at No. 6 on the list. Here’s what they had to say about the potential two-position player in James:
“Perhaps the most versatile player in college football, expectations for James are skyrocketing after an offseason spent rehabbing his knee and learning nearly every position on defense. Expect him to line up at his usual safety spot, while also playing cornerback, linebacker and some defensive end.”
Like ESPN mentioned, James spent most of last season rehabbing a meniscus tear and only appeared in two games. However, he did record an interception and 11 total tackles in his short time on the field. He could also be returning kicks this season if coach Jimbo Fisher gives him the chance. That would likely only help him build his case as a potential Heisman winner as he would be affecting the game more than defensively.
In 2015 as a freshman, James recorded 91 total tackles, a fumble return, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and forced two fumbles.