Florida State redshirt sophomore safety Derwin James announced on Tuesday he will enter the 2018 NFL Draft.
He also opted not to play in Florida State’s upcoming bowl game against Southern Mississippi later this month.
“On to the next chapter of my life I will be entering the 2018 NFL Draft and will not participate in the bowl game, FOREVER NOLE NATION #dj3,” James wrote in an Instagram post.
James is projected to be a top-10 draft pick by many media outlets.
He said after Florida State's win against Louisiana-Monroe Saturday that he was still discussing his future with his family and teammates.
Three days later, the decision was made and James had played his final game in a garnet and gold uniform.
This season, James finished with 84 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, a sack, four quarterback hurries, 11 passes broken up and a pair of interceptions. He was named a member of the All-ACC first team. In the preseason, James was named to several preseason award watch lists.
In 2016, James season was cut short after seven quarters. He suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee against Charleston Southern and was forced to redshirt.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pound safety burst onto the college football scene his freshman year. He finished 2015 with 91 tackles, 9.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, five pass breakups, three quarterback hurries, two fumbles forced and two fumble recoveries, and was named a freshman All-American by multiple publications.
In a poignant article in The Players’ Tribune, James details how he fell in love with Florida State from an early age and the significance of playing for the Seminoles.
Odell Haggins, who served as the Seminoles inter head coach this past weekend chimed in on James’ departure.
“Recruiting Derwin was one of the easiest jobs I’ve had because of his love for Florida State. I knew the type of person he was and the type of people his parents are. To me, Derwin is a true Seminole. After he committed, he never took another visit anywhere because he was completely in with FSU,” Haggins said in a statement. “Florida State University will always love and support him. I wish him the best of luck representing Florida State at the next level.”