FSU safety Derwin James declares for NFL Draft

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Florida State safety Derwin James announced Tuesday he will forgo his final season and declare for the NFL Draft. He will not play in the Seminoles’ Independence Bowl game against Southern Miss on Dec. 27.

“After a lot of prayer and plenty of conversations with my coaches and especially my teammates, I’m ready to begin preparing for my next chapter: Becoming the next great Florida State DB in the NFL,” James wrote on The Players’ Tribune. “I feel extremely grateful that every person I spoke to supported my decision to begin my training immediately. They all know how much this program means to me, and they saw firsthand how much it killed me to be away from the field when I injured my knee last year. It’s hard to really believe I’ll never wear that garnet and gold uniform again, but everyone I’ve reached out to has agreed that this is the best decision for me and my family.

“But that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye.”

James made 84 tackles, two interceptions and 11 pass breakups this season.

Three University of Texas players — cornerback Holton Hill, safety DeShon Elliott and left tackle Connor Williams — have opted to skip their team’s bowl game and enter the draft.