A deficient part of the Florida State Seminoles' ACC championship last season may have been at the quarterback position. With Jameis Winston expected to fill that void beginning this season, he is not only the next big thing for college football, but he could be the guy who helps get this program over the hump and back into the title picture.
Florida State's Clint Trickett shocked everybody with his announcement that he will transfer from the university (h/t Fox Sports Florida). This now puts Winston in the driver's seat while leading the team for the next few years. An exciting quarterback with an intriguing story, this may finally be the break this program needs to get back to competing for a crystal football.
If you are one of the many who aren't quite familiar with Winston, here's a quick breakdown of his career leading up to his days of being the cool thing to talk about in college football.
Picking Florida State
Winston was considered to be the second-best quarterback in the 2012 class by Scout. He had offers from every school you could think of, including Alabama, Florida, Miami, LSU and Ohio State. He was seriously considering taking his talents to Stanford but decided that Florida State was the right place for him, according to Britton Lynn of Scout.
I just felt like I belonged at FSU. When I went on the visit it was like there was something different about it there. I’m very excited to be done with the whole recruiting process. I talked with coach (Jimbo) Fisher earlier today. I’m just ready to get down there.
The deciding factor that helped Winston take his talents to Florida State was quarterbacks coach Dameyune Craig, who, like Winston, is also from the state of Alabama. Craig has recently left for the Auburn Tigers, but the overall atmosphere of the Florida State program also seemed to fit the young quarterback's style.
Just the people at Florida State are similar to the people in my hometown Birmingham. The people are nice. It’s a great baseball and football situation. I had a really good time on my visit there. It was fun. It's always good to get down there and be with the coaches to talk some ball.
Why would Winston care about the Seminoles having a good baseball squad? Well, obviously you don't know Winston. This kid is an athletic freak who is more than capable of holding his own in another sport as well.
The Legend Begins to Grow
Winston is much more than the future of the Florida State football team, as he also plays baseball. No, this isn't somebody chasing a childhood dream like Michael Jordan and will ultimately end up disappointing fans across the country.
Winston happens to be great at both sports and could seriously carve out a career in either sport if he wanted to. He could also become the next Deion Sanders and end up playing both sports at the same time, giving media outlets something to talk about.
Winston has experience playing shortstop and outfield, and he is also a right-handed pitcher who is able to throw a fastball in the low-90s. That isn't too shabby for somebody who only plays the sport part time.
Oh, and about that whole thing where he wasn't doing this just to do it, he is quite serious about baseball as well. How does being drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 15th round of the 2012 baseball draft sound?
The projected starting quarterback was able to juggle both sports, as he often left football practice to then tackle the sport of baseball just moments later. In fact, after the spring game, where he dazzled many Florida State fans and the coaching staff, he left to participate in a baseball game against the Duke Blue Devils. Winston finished with a hit and a walk, as the Seminoles ended up winning fairly easily.
As for football, well there was the time he threw a football over an entire fraternity house on campus—let's see that from Johnny Manziel.
He obviously has the arm strength to make any throw on the football field, but his athleticism clearly shows in the video above. His patience with his running style, the ability to make people miss in the open field and the threat to take it to the house at any given moment will make any scout drool up and down the sidelines.
This kid also has the size (6'4" 200-plus pounds), athletic ability, arm strength and poise to become the next Cam Newton of college football. Did I just say that? I honestly can't believe I did, but you watch the tape and tell me he doesn't have the goods to take over this sport for the next few years.
Now that Trickett is no longer in the picture, it is pretty much a forgone conclusion that Winston is the new starting quarterback for this football team. Actually, that is likely the main reason that Trickett transferred to begin with, as Trickett would like a chance to play full time before he graduates from the collegiate level.
I truly see limitless potential with this guy, and I think he is good enough to carry this football team to the promised land.
Is he completely polished? No. Will there be growing pains early on? Absolutely, it happens with every young quarterback. But as far as the tools are concerned, they are all there. Now, it is up to the coaches to help him along the way and turn this kid into a monster.
Florida State has had a terrific defense for as long as I can remember, but the quarterback play over the years has been shaky, at best. It has been a while since the Seminoles have had that guy who can step on the field and take over a football game like all of the greats are capable of doing nowadays.
All of this is finally going to change. Winston is the next college football superstar.