There's no denying that Florida State quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston has a bright future ahead of him on the gridiron. However, the dynamic signal-caller appears to be leaving all of his options open.
According to AL.com's Jon Solomon, Winston believes he can succeed while playing both football and baseball professionally someday, singling out the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees as potential destinations.
During a BCS National Championship Game media session on Friday, Jan. 3, Winston had the following response when probed about the possibility of excelling as a dual-sport professional athlete:
You can do anything you put your mind to. A lot of people are going to say, no way, he's a quarterback, Bo Jackson was a running back. But if I put my mind to it -- and the one thing I always seem to do is gain the trust of my teammates -- if I can convince those guys I can be your quarterback and still go play baseball for the Atlanta Braves or New York Yankees...
Keep in mind that the 19-year-old Winston is a talented baseball player and was selected in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Texas Rangers. He played pitcher and outfielder for the Seminoles baseball team in 2013.
Winston added that former two-sport athletes like Bo Jackson serve as inspiration:
No one can be Bo Jackson. I mean, the guy if he wouldn't have gotten hurt probably would have been in the Hall of Fame in both baseball and football. So that's something that's unrealistic. But I'm not going to tell myself I can't do that.
Still, it's difficult to imagine Winston following in Jackson's footsteps. Even if the Hueytown, Ala. native has the physical and mental makeup to dominate as a professional football and baseball player, it's unlikely that a professional sports franchise investing in him would be comfortable with the obvious risk involved with such a scenario.
ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit told Solomon that he loves the idea of Winston starring in the NFL and MLB, but feels it's an unrealistic desire given his position:
I love seeing guys play multiple sports, but he plays quarterback. It's very different than Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson. As much as he wants to play both, because he plays quarterback, eventually I think he's going to have to make a decision. Talk to John Elway about it. There are a lot of quarterbacks who thought about playing both and eventually had to make a decision.
Herbstreit, a former college quarterback himself, raises an excellent point.
For at least the next few days, Winston will have more than enough on his plate as he and his teammates prepare for their BCS National Championship Game matchup with Auburn, which is set to kick off on Monday, Jan. 6 from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
It's been an unforgettable and record-breaking season for the redshirt freshman to this point, but unless he and the Seminoles can finish the job against Auburn, Winston will have bigger concerns heading into the offseason than his future as a dual-sport star.
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