Jameis Winston will miss one spring practice to play baseball

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Florida State opens spring practice Wednesday, and perhaps the best news for the reigning national champions is that Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston is going to miss just one day of spring drills.

Winston famously is playing baseball, too, for the top-ranked Seminoles, serving as a reliever and occasional designated hitter. He'll miss Friday's practice session with the football team because the top-ranked FSU baseball team will play at Clemson this weekend.

Given that Winston won the Heisman and that Florida State is looking for a No. 2 quarterback, a strong case can be made that this spring is more important for potential backups Sean Maguire and John Franklin than it is for Winston.

Still, FSU lost two of its top three wide receivers, its fullback and two of its top three rushers, so it is important for Winston to work on his timing with the new receivers and to get used to his new backfield mates.

Getting comfortable with the wide receivers probably will be job one for Winston when he is on the football field. FSU will be without Kenny Shaw and Kelvin Benjamin; Shaw was a senior last season and Benjamin turned pro after his redshirt sophomore season. The Seminoles do return wide receiver Rashad Greene and tight end Nick O'Leary, both of whom will be among the best players in the nation at their positions. Still, Winston will miss Benjamin and, to a lesser extent, Shaw.

"When you have guys like (Kelvin Benjamin), you kind of get spoiled," Winston said Wednesday, according to warchant.com. "You're not going to find many receivers like KB."

Benjamin was a 6-foot-5, 240-pound safety blanket for Winston. Benjamin came on strong down the stretch last season, including catching the game-winning touchdown pass in the national championship game against Auburn. His replacement -- whether it's senior Christian Green or sophomores Jesus "Bobo" Wilson or Isaiah Jones, or some combination thereof -- will not possess the same physical tools.

That trio combined to catch 18 passes for 211 yards and no touchdowns in 2013; Benjamin -- a potential first-round pick in May's draft -- had 54 receptions for 1,011 yards and 15 TDs.

Which receiver steps up will be one of the biggest spring stories at Florida State, which also will be looking for a new starting tailback, a replacement for defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (a likely first-rounder), a replacement for center Bryan Stork and a replacement for cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. Defensive tackle looks to be the only potential trouble spot other than wide receiver. The Seminoles are extremely deep in the secondary, and even if there is a drop-off at center, they still return four other starters and will have one of the nation's top three offensive lines.

One other thing to watch for is burnout from Winston, who said, "I literally have no time right now" because of spring football and baseball practices and games.

Remember, though, that he was in the same situation last year at this time in playing both sports. The difference then was that he was just trying to win the starting quarterback job. This time, he is coming off a Heisman-winning season.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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