One day after his coach said he thought Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston would play two more seasons of college football, Winston himself said he would stick around for two more years.
When discussing the Seminoles' recruiting class Wednesday afternoon, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said Winston's presence was a big reason for a class full of offensive playmakers and that he thought the players who signed will have two seasons with Winston. "Everybody says he's going to stay one year and leave," Fisher said, "which I don't think that's true. I think it will be two."
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Winston told The Associated Press on Thursday night that he and Fisher have a good relationship, "so whatever he says most likely is true."
Winston won the Heisman this past season as a redshirt freshman and will be eligible for the draft after the 2014 season. He said his baseball career is one reason he is planning on staying in school. Winston is expected to be FSU's closer this season and played the outfield and served as the designated hitter last season.
"Obviously I'm a big baseball person, so [Fisher's] is an accurate statement because I plan on playing baseball next season anyway," Winston told the AP. "I'm not even worried about the draft and stuff like that. I'm worried about winning championships here at Florida State."
Coming out of Hueytown (Ala.) High, Winston was ranked among the top 50 prep players nationally by two respected baseball services: PerfectGame.org and Baseball America. And though he had made it clear he wanted to play both sports in college, he still was a 15th-round pick by the Texas Rangers in the 2012 baseball draft. And there's no question his baseball talent could become an important negotiating wedge down the road.
Of course, talking in early February 2014 is one thing. Following through on that talk is another. Expectations are high for Winston, who was seen as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft by at least one former NFL executive.
Two highly touted third-year sophomore quarterbacks, UCLA's Brett Hundley and Oregon's Marcus Mariota, decided after this season to return for their junior campaigns. But neither's stock is as high as Winston's. Texas A&M third-year sophomore Johnny Manziel did decide to turn pro.
Whether Winston can truly resist the siren call of being the potential overall No. 1 pick and all the money that comes with it? That's not going to be determined for another 10 or so months, despite what was said the past two days.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.