Feb. 3, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Last but certainly not least.
Two days after signing one of the top recruiting classes in the country, Florida State capped off its impressive haul of student-athletes with the cherry of all cherries on top: the nation’s No. 1-ranked dual-threat quarterback, Jameis Winston.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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The Hueytown, Ala. native verbally committed to FSU in front of ESPNU cameras on Aug. 3, 2011 but his version of National Signing Day was much more low key. After spending several days in Austin, Texas as a member of Team USA in the third annual International Bowl, Winston bypassed the opportunity to sign his National Letter of Intent Wednesday until he returned home.
At a small ceremony Friday afternoon and after a late but futile push from Stanford, Winston officially became the 19th member of the Seminoles’ 2012 signing class when his LOI was cleared by FSU’s compliance department at 3:25 p.m.
“When you recruited him, he was a guy that was very mature,” Fisher said, “understood what he wanted, was very clear, was not a guy who jumped around, usually told you what was on his mind, but listened very well in recruiting and was very deliberate on how he went about things.”
A member of the nation’s premier high school quarterback competition, ESPN Rise’s Elite 11, Winston captured MVP honors at the Under Armour All-American game last month. Winston is widely considered one of the nation’s premier high school football players and earned five-star rankings from both Scout.com and Rivals.com.
Winston’s signing means the ‘Noles inked four players ranked in the top 25 of the ESPNU 150 — a number that is tied with Alabama for the most of any program in the country.
In addition to his ability on the football field, Winston is also one of the nation’s top prep baseball players.
An outfielder and pitcher, Winston will play both football and baseball at Florida State — joining the ‘Noles other two-sport signees Ronald Darby and Marvin Bracy, who will both run track in addition to playing football.
Because of his skills on the baseball diamond, Winston is slated to be taken in Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft in June and — depending on the position of his selection — may have another critical decision to make this summer.
Baseball America currently has him ranked as the 64th-best prospect eligible for this year’s draft.
“As good as his athletic quality is I am just as impressed with the fact that he will be a great addition to our baseball team,” FSU baseball coach Mike Martin said. “He will be a great young man to have in the clubhouse and certainly his athletic ability speaks for itself. Jameis is one of the top athletes in the country. Mike Martin, Jr. has seen him play and speaks highly of his ability to play baseball professionally. We are excited that he is going to be with us. We are going to look at Jameis as both an outfielder and a pitcher.
“As I said, he is a better person than he is a player and that is saying a lot.”
Number watch: Winston may have to choose some new digits when he gets to Tallahassee as both Devonta Freeman and Timmy Jernigan wear No. 8 that he donned in high school and in the Under Armour All-American game. Some potential options for FSU’s new quarterback include Nos. 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13 and 15.