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Jameis Winston issues reminder that he's rare talent vs. ND

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Steven Cannon/Associated Press
Jameis Winston completed 23-of-31 passes for 273 yards and two TDs vs. Notre Dame.

On the biggest stage a regular season game can offer, Jameis Winston put forth a championship performance in the second half Saturday as he led Florida State to a win over Notre Dame.

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His 273-yard, two-TD showing was more of a reminder than a statement, and it's going to make his NFL evaluation tricky, whenever he decides to enter the draft. There are a lot of questions about his maturity and character. Those are legitimate questions. He's not someone you can just dismiss, though. He showed again Saturday that he has rare ability.

However, I don't think anything he's doing on the field will change his stock. I've never really had a lot of concerns about his on-field ability. NFL teams are going to do their homework on him, and they're either going to find his off-the-field behavior acceptable or unacceptable. Saturday's performance reinforced that when he's at his best on the field, he's pretty special.

Now, Winston did throw a boneheaded pick in the first half. He lost his poise on that throw, which is out of character for him. But he came out in the second half and was flawless. He showed great timing, awareness and flashed some escapability. It appeared his delivery was a little bit tighter Saturday than it was when I watched him live against Oklahoma State in the season opener, which is a sign of improvement.

The most impressive thing he did tonight? I thought it was the anticipation he showed. A lot of times when you're evaluating big, strong passers like Winston, those QBs don't throw with anticipation because they just rely on their arm strength. Winston's anticipation Saturday was outstanding.

Here are some of my observations on other prospects that stood out in Saturday's marquee game.

Golson solid in defeat

Golson (31-of-52 for 313 yards, three TDs) threw a pick early against FSU, but I thought he played a really strong game. He did a great job of extending plays, and his decision-making was impressive. I'm not sure how well his game translates to the next level, but he's definitely someone to keep an eye on. The last time I saw him live was in the national championship game against Alabama a couple of years ago. He's really come a long way since then, even though he missed last season while serving a suspension for academic misconduct.

» Golson gives Heisman-worthy effort in loss to FSU

Irish's Smith, Robinson shine

You could make a case that, aside from Winston, the two best players on the field Saturday night were Notre Dame sophomores Jaylon Smith and Corey Robinson, the son of Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson. Smith, a linebacker, was all over the field and can play anywhere, inside or outside -- he's explosive. Robinson (eight catches for 99 yards, two TDs) was phenomenal Saturday. The star wide receiver has rare size (listed at 6-foot-4 1/2 and 215 pounds) and leaping ability. He showed great concentration and looks like someone who can be a mismatch player for years to come.

Same old for Greene

Saturday was another good outing for FSU WR Rashad Greene (eight catches for 108 yards, TD). He's not a big guy at 6-0, 180, but he has a lot of range as a pass-catcher. He shows great high-point and jumping ability in addition to clean route running. Green's very reliable and looks like a classic second-round receiver.

Night to forget for FSU OT, CB

FSU OT Cameron Erving and CB Ronald Darby are highly regarded in some scouting circles, but they had rough nights against Notre Dame. Erving is raw, and it appears he'll be a developmental project at the next level. Darby was picked on all game. He was out of position throughout the night.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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