Looking Back at Jameis Winston's Recruitment from 2012

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IDecember 16, 2013

Looking Back at Jameis Winston's Recruitment from 2012

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    Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has taken the college football world by storm this season. He has helped the Seminoles reach the national title game, and won some small award called the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.

    Winston's powerful right arm and athleticism are just the tip of the iceberg for his skill set. He also has a friendly personality packed full of charisma, which helps him as a leader.

    However, Winston's road as a recruit could have easily led him somewhere other than Tallahassee.


Where He Was Ranked in High School in 2012

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    Hailing from Hueytown High School in Alabama, Winston was a national-level recruit in the 2012 class. At 6'4" and 190 pounds, it was easy to see he had a strong arm with the potential to develop into an accurate passer. 

    His athleticism also was evident, as Winston routinely made dazzling plays with his legs. Rivals.com listed him as the No. 10 overall recruit in the country. 

    He was considered a 5-star recruit in the 2012 247Sports composite rankings, where he was the No. 15 overall prospect, while Scout.com ranked him 41st.  

    The 2012 class also featured quarterbacks such as Gunner Kiel of Cincinnati (originally signed with Notre Dame), Trevor Knight of Oklahoma, Tommy Armstrong of Nebraska, Maty Mauk of Missouri and Wes Lunt of Illinois (originally signed with Oklahoma State). 

    Winston also excelled on the baseball diamond. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB draft.   

Major Suitors

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Winston was a wanted man on the recruiting trail in 2011.

    He mentioned a list of schools to Andrew Bone of Scout.com (subscription required) in March of that year, which included Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Florida State, Clemson and Vanderbilt. 

    The consensus feeling was that the true race for Winston was between the Crimson Tide and Seminoles.

Significant Developments

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    In April 2011, Winston told Chad Simmons of Scout.com (subscription required) that he wanted to make an early decision.

    UCLA and Stanford appeared to enter the picture in May of that year, as Winston told Bone (subscription required) both schools were after him. 

    He also told Bone that a decision would come in the summer.

    In that same month, Winston spent several days at Ohio State, according to Bill Greene of Scout.com (subscription required)

    In July 2011, Bone was informed by Winston (subscription required) that he had a final list of Alabama, Florida State and LSU. Yet, he noted that he wanted to take a trip to Stanford.   

Ultimate Decision

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    Winston told Bone (subscription required) in July 2011 that he had a good idea of where he was going, and that he would be announcing in early August.

    A few weeks later, he announced for Florida State. However, he took another unofficial trip to Alabama in October, according to Bone (subscription required).

    Winston eventually ended up taking official visits to 'Bama, LSU and Stanford, per 247Sports. Playing on The Farm was a real possibility, as was staying close to home to throw in Tuscaloosa.

    In any case, Winston told Scout.com Texas field reporter (subscription required) Britton Lynn in February 2012 that he had decided to stick with Florida State. 

    According to a story this past September by CBSSports' Bruce Feldman, though, Winston had a large amount of interest in Texas.   

And Now

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Today, Winston is listed at 6'4" and 228 pounds by Florida State. After redshirting in 2012, he won the starting job at FSU for the 2013 season, where he threw for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

    Winston completed nearly 68 percent of his passes, while also rushing for 364 yards and four touchdowns.

    He is regarded as the best player in college football, and won the 2013 Heisman Trophy. Winston will get one last showcase on the big stage this season, leading the Seminoles against Auburn in the BCS title game next month.


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.