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Danny Kanell impressed by Florida State QB Jameis Winston

Florida State's Jameis Winston hasn't taken a snap in a college game, but former Seminoles quarterback Danny Kanell already is sold.

"When I look at film and see him throw the football or see him run, I see the most talented person at the quarterback position that has ever come through that program," Kanell told the Orlando Sentinel. "And that includes two Heisman Trophy winners and two first-round draft picks."

Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke won the Heisman while playing quarterback for FSU, and Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel have been first-round picks in recent drafts.

Kanell, now an ESPN analyst, did backtrack a bit to the Sentinel: "The reason I said 'person' is because that doesn't necessarily make him the best quarterback to come through there."

Winston (6 feet 4, 227 pounds) is a redshirt freshman who followed up a strong spring with a solid fall camp to earn the starting job.

"I still want to reserve something until I see what he does when the brightest lights come on," Kanell also said.

The bright lights will be on Monday night, when FSU plays at Pittsburgh in the Panthers' first-ever ACC game. Pitt returns eight defensive starters from a team that was 17th in the nation in total defense last season. Pitt does have a new defensive coordinator; secondary coach Matt House was promoted when Dave Huxtable left to become coordinator at North Carolina State.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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