Florida State signed three five stars in the 2015, and two of the three have seen a good amount of playing time. Defensive back Derwin James and defensive end Josh Sweat had both made an impact through the first four games of the season, but they really shined against Miami.
James was forced into the starting strong safety role with Nate Andrews out with an injury. James finished with seven tackles, the second most on the team. He wasn't able to be a pass rusher, like he had been in the previous games, but Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher was extremely happy with the versatily he showed against Miami.
"At times, because he had to be in the back end," Fisher said. "I was very pleased with that. Again, there's other things I keep getting from this is that we keep getting guys in key situations having to go in games and make plays. The other big thing in that game was getting Nate back. And some key things allowed him to get in the game, you know, even playing as little as he did, to allow some rest or move some guys around. It's letting Derwin grow, because he's having to do so much."
Sweat has moved into the starting defensive end role, and has done a great job of getting penetration this season. He did so again against Miami, and really impacted the way Miami had to call the game. Sweat finished the game with just one tackle, but coach Fisher pointed out that he got multiple pressures on Kaaya.
"Good," Fisher said. "Pressure in the pocket, kept edges good. Getting better and better, learning to rush on the edges of guys. The big thing for those young ends is learning to transition from run to pass. I'm in the middle of the guy taking on a run, and all of a sudden, I see it transitioning into the pass rush, getting on the edges again, those things take time, and those are a lot of little things he's doing right now that we as coaches see that we really, really like. I think he's going to continue to grow. He did, getting on the edge. Then we could lay those ears back. He's another one. He just works his tail off, loves ball. Smart, very smart."
Florida State will need both of those guys to continue to step up this season, but they've both showed why they were awarded those fifth stars so far.