By Dave Miller, National Football Post
Florida State beat out LSU and Alabama to land perhaps the best dual-threat quarterback in the nation last August, as Class of 2012 signal-caller Jameis Winston verbally committed to play football in Tallahassee. He made that move official when he signed his letter of intent with FSU this past February.
But will Seminole fans ever get to see the Hueytown, Ala., native on the field at Doak Campbell Stadium?
Throughout the recruiting process Winston said that he wanted to go to a school that would let him play both football and baseball. The two-sport star was one of the best baseball prospects in the nation, and he said that it would be difficult to bypass first-round MLB money.
Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher doesn't have to worry about losing Winston to the diamond just yet as the dual-threat star was taken in the 15th round by the Texas Rangers in the MLB Draft earlier this month. Winston incredibly fell much further in the draft than anyone had anticipated, and many believe his stock fell because he insisted on playing football as well.
That's good news for the 'Noles.
What the program gets in Winston is a 6-4, 200-pounder who made strong impressions at offseason camps even while sharing the stage with fellow top quarterback recruits Gunner Kiel and Zeke Pike. He was also the MVP of the Under Armour All-American Game after going 8-of-9 passing for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
In his senior season in 2011, he passed for 2,424 yards, ran for 1,065 more and recorded 44 touchdowns, finishing second behind Alabama signee T.J. Yeldon in the voting for Alabama's Mr. Football. He has good accuracy and good poise for a passer, two traits that often get overlooked because of his outstanding athletic ability.
EJ Manuel is firmly entrenched as the FSU starting quarterback, but Winston should be able to step in and compete with Clint Trickett and Jacob Coker for the job in years to come. And that's music to the ears of the FSU offensive staff.
Winston's dream of being a major-leaguer are still intact, and he likely will play baseball with the Rangers in the offseason. He also has the option of waiting until his junior season in order to be re-drafted in baseball again.
But Winston seems committed to helping out the 'Noles on the gridiron first. And that could be bad news for opposing ACC defenses.
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