FSU football will be getting back a key player next season when Derwin James makes his return – so does he have a legit chance at being a Heisman name?
For much of the 2016 season, fans of FSU football would be watching the Seminoles in action and wonder the same thing every time a big play was given up by the secondary: man, things would be so much better of Derwin was in there.
Of course, we’re talking about the man who came to Tallahassee as one of the top 10 players in the country in 2015 – Derwin James. The rising junior from Haines City was all set to be one of the best – if not THE best – defensive players in all of college football last year. That was until an injury in the Seminoles’ blowout win over Charleston Southern sidelined him for the rest of the year.
James likely could have come back for FSU football’s Orange Bowl win, but head coach Jimbo Fisher decided it was best to leave him on the sideline for this coming season. Now, James is ready to show he can take back that title of being the best defensive backs in all of the game.
But, does that also mean Derwin James is a legit Heisman Trophy candidate this season?
Earlier this week, ESPN made an argument that James – despite playing just 14 full games of college football – is one of the top five defensive players who have the best chance to become just the second player from that side of the ball to bring home the honor:
"If James builds on an extremely productive freshman season in 2015 — 91 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries — and finds his way to the end zone, he could generate some Heisman chatter. It would help his case if the Seminoles feature him more on special teams or offense."
The last part of that statement is the part that makes me laugh – since that was exactly what Michigan did last year with Jabrill Peppers to get him an invite to New York City as a finalist (where he should have been joined by Dalvin Cook, but we won’t go there).
In all odds, you can’t see FSU football head coach Jimbo Fisher doing such a thing and putting James in a position to be a gimmick player and risk another injury in what will likely be his final season with the program before going pro. James is going to just have to be a beast on the defensive side of the ball if he wants that invite – something he has more than enough ability to be able to do.