Florida State Football: Biggest Takeaways from FSU's Recruits at the Opening

Bob Ferrante@@bobferranteContributor IJuly 11, 2014

The Opening may be the best indication that the future looks very bright for the Florida State football team.

FSU's verbal commitments and a number of prospects that are considering the Seminoles were among the standouts at the four-day showcase event, which wrapped up on Thursday in Oregon.

Derwin James, a 5-star safety who has verbally committed to FSU, was named to the all-tournament team for the second straight year, according to  247Sports' Josh Newberg.

"Derwin James has been the most impressive performer at every camp or tournament he's attended in the last two years," Newberg said. "James simply plays at a higher level than everyone else."

A 4-star cornerback, Tarvarus McFadden, also made the all-tournament team, Newberg said. The 247Sports Crystal Ball predicts McFadden will choose FSU.

McFadden was "seemingly a regular returning interceptions" at the Opening, writes 247Sports' Barton Simmons. While he has not made a verbal commitment, McFadden is leaning toward FSU, writes 247Sports' Chris Nee and Newberg (subscription required).

"McFadden has a special size/speed combo," Newberg said. "He's a Richard Sherman type player with big time potential on the next level."

Here are a few takeaways from the FSU prospects at The Opening:

Derwin James can make immediate impact

FSU will start a pair of juniors at corner in 2014 in Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams. If one or both choose to leave early for the NFL, it's possible that safety Jalen Ramsey moves to corner. And that would open up a spot for James to start in 2015 as a true freshman.

At 6'2'' and 200 pounds, James has the size and physicality. He's fast (4.5 in the 40 in SPARQ testing), an aggressive tackler and should excel in both run support and pass coverage.

"He's faster, stronger and more instinctual than anyone else on the field," Newberg said. "It comes easy for him. Couple his instincts with his speed and you have a game-changer at safety."


FSU stocking up on QBs for future

Jameis Winston is eligible to declare for the NFL draft. While his father, Antonor Winston, told AL.com that he would play two more years at FSU, Winston would pass up millions if he stayed in Tallahassee in 2015. If he leaves after the 2014 season, the FSU quarterback competition could be wide open.

FSU has a verbal commitment from De'Andre Johnson, who Newberg said was listening and learning from the coaches in Oregon.

"Johnson was very inquisitive," Newberg said. "He could frequently be seen talking to Trent Dilfer or George Whitfield in-between drills. He was soaking all the coaching in like a sponge."

Johnson also displayed a quick release and touch, Simmons wrote.

FSU is also pursuing Deondre Francois, a 4-star quarterback who is leaning heavily toward the Seminoles in the 247Sports Crystal Ball. Francois is not concerned by programs that already have quarterback commitments, Nee and Newberg wrote.

"Francois has a strong arm and improved his accuracy, compared to other tournaments I've seen him in throughout the summer," Newberg said. "He had a great week."


Sweat likely won't visit FSU until fall

The nation's top defensive end, Josh Sweat, told Nee and Newberg (subscription required) that he would like to enroll early. So the big question? Where?

Sweat has visited Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Ohio State and Georgia this summer. He has not scheduled his official visits for the fall yet, but FSU remains in the mix for a player that 247Sports considers the top prospect in the nation.

He told 247Sports (subscription required) that two schools he would also like to make official visits to are Clemson and FSU. Both could happen in the fall.

"I do not expect him to visit (FSU) this summer," Newberg said. "His timeline will be sped up a bit due to his early enrollment. FSU will get its shot this fall and try to make the most of it."


FSU is making a run at Ridley

Calvin Ridley is an Alabama commitment. But Ridley, a 4-star receiver, will make a visit to FSU this summer, Newberg said.

The 6'2", 170-pound Ridley doesn't have elite speed but is a smooth receiver, Newberg writes.

"His visit to FSU this summer is a must if the 'Noles are going to flip him," Newberg said. "If something is to change, it will start with this upcoming visit."


All recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. 

Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained first-hand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bob on Twitter. Results from the Opening courtesy of Student Sports


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