Florida State defensive back Derwin James came to Florida State with extremely high expectations. James was the highest rated safety to ever commit to the Seminoles and the fourth highest rated safety in the history of Scout. James committed to Florida State nearly two years before he early enrolled and never wavered.
Florida State defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Charles Kelly had a very telling comment about Derwin James at the Signing Day party in Ferbruary.
"I promise you, he has nothing but Seminole blood running through his veins," Kelly said.
James was able to make the most of his early enrollee status, and has made a huge impact for the Seminoles this year. There's a lot to be impressed about with James, but Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher has one thing that stands out the most about him.
"That's the thing about him that impresses me the most," Fisher said. "Not only his instincts, but he's a very, very intelligent guy. He learns well. Learns from mistakes well. We felt comfortable he was getting to that point."
James has played a much bigger role in recent weeks, and, after his 12 tackle, 2 tackle for loss, and 1 forced fumble performance against Syracuse, he's currently third on the team in tackles with 39 and tackles for loss with 5. James has gotten better each week, and that's because of his growing confidence according to coach Fisher.
"I think the more he gets out there, the more comfortable he gets playing," Fisher said. "It's more natural. He feeds off that. He's a competitor. He's a guy that loves ball in every shape and form, loves to compete. He's playing so much, his confidence just keeps growing in what he's doing. He's got a chance to be a really, really good player."
Defensive back Jalen Ramsey told the media that James was going to be great before the season started, but even he is impressed with how well James has performed so far this season.
"I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told everybody this," Ramsey said. "Preseason I said that Derwin was going to be somebody to watch. He’s a force to be reckoned with. He’s out there doing what he needs to do. He’s out there playing hard, playing with good technique, doing his assignments. He’s being a guy that we can really depend on. He’s everything that we thought he would be and more."
Ramsey had a very simple answer when asked just how good James could be.
"He doesn't have a ceiling," Ramsey said.
No one knows just how good James will be, but there is one thing that is clearly apparent. The future looks very bright for James and the Florida State secondary.