TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The first of what could be many accolades for Florida State’s Derwin James rolled in on Friday morning.
Citing his versatility and athleticism, Sports Illustrated named James the No. 1 player in all of college football for the 2017 season. That puts him ahead of reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson (No. 3), Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (No. 5) and Boston College pass-rusher Harold Landry (No. 9), among others.
James, set to return this fall after missing most of last season with an injury, is one of six Seminoles to crack the Top 100.
“James may be the only player in the country capable of lining up virtually everywhere on the defensive side of the ball, and Seminoles coach Jimbo Fishermight want to consider dialing up a running play for him or asking him to run a deep route,” SI wrote. “Billing James as the next (former Michigan defensive back) Jabrill Peppers is underselling the number of tasks the 6’3”, 211-pound redshirt sophomore can perform on the field at a high level.”
Joining James are fellow Seminoles Cam Akers (No. 99), Deondre Francois (No. 91), Derrick Nnadi (No. 69), Josh Sweat (No. 43) and Tarvarus McFadden (No. 19).
Also of note: 21 players from the Atlantic Coast Conference made the list, including six of the top 15.
View the full list here.