NGSC Sports

Jameis Winston: His future at Florida State

It’s been quite a calendar year for one, Jameis Winston. This past fall, as a redshirt freshman quarterback, he led the Seminoles to a national championship. This spring he has joined Head Coach Mike Martin’s baseball team to be their closer and part time outfielder.  Now down the road, which sport is Winston going to choose to be a pro in?

If you were to ask the experts, Winston’s future is as an NFL quarterback. His size, arm strength and his ability to lead are all qualities that NFL front office types are looking for when making evaluations on potential top line talent. His baseball skills are not to be overlooked. He possess a fastball of 95 to 97 MPH as a right handed pitcher that can also be used as a gun in the outfield. Major League baseball scouts are paying close attention to Winston’s skills on the baseball diamond. So which is it? Football, baseball or  maybe both? Only Winston knows for sure and for now he is not saying a word, except to tell the college sports world that he not ready to leave just yet.

On the eve of national signing day for college football, Winston was asked about his future plans. He told reporters that he was sticking around at FSU for two more years. He said that his “desire to play baseball for two more years will keep him from entering the NFL draft”. It is a statement that was probably met with surprise around the college football scene, and maybe even the baseball landscape as well. Winston is a sure fire first round pick in any NFL draft he decides to enter, baseball may be a different story. But that not stopping him from playing a game he loves as much as football.

The risks here are injury, blowing out a knee in football, or suffering an arm injury to his throwing shoulder in baseball. One mistake could change everything when it comes to Winston’s future in either sport. But the risk the he may or may not be taking does not seem to faze him one bit. Winston has a dream, one that he is convinced he can achieve. He wants to be a two sport star in the manner that people like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were. Both were great football and a baseball players in college and in the pros. Jackson was an all-star outfielder for the KC Royals in baseball, Sanders a Hall of Fame football player as a defensive back in Atlanta and Dallas. Winston’s believes if they can do why can’t I, and at the moment who can argue with him.

Winston’s baseball numbers are modest at best,  with four innings pitched, one hit allowed, three strikeouts, no walks, and no runs given up, with one save. He has faced thirteen batters in the early going of the season and opponents are hitting .077 against him. At the plate Winston is batting 1.000 (1 for 1), his fielding was also prefect with two putouts and one assist from the outfield so far. Head Coach Mike Martin said before the season began that Winston would be the closer for the pre-season #5 ranked Seminoles team that so far is undefeated at 6-0.

There is no question that if Winston puts up gaudy numbers as the Seminoles closer, his stock in baseball will go up. Maybe not to the level that it is in football right now, but it could be close. But in today’s world of professional sports, is Winston’s dream a reality? It’s hard to envision that a NFL team would be willingly to share him with a MLB team and vice versa, given the way the schedules of both sports overlap and the injury risk that each sport provides. Not to mention the dollars involved at some point Winston may need to make a choice, football or baseball.

One thing is for sure, Winston does not care what the outside world thinks about what he is trying to do. He is focused on what his goals are and what he wants out of life. At the moment, what he wants is to be is a two sports star. Only time will tell if Winston’s dreams are indeed a reality.                

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