He's all over the place.
One minute Jameis Winston is on campus taking a class. The next he's lining up under center at Florida State's Spring practice taking snaps with the first team. Then he's jetting to Coral Gables where he's striking out Canes with a mid-90's fastball.
The legend of Jameis Winston grows by the day.
Coming out of high school the two-sports star was part of ESPN's Elite 11, considered to be one of the top recruits in the country. Since coming to Tallahassee all he's done is catch the attention of teammates in not one, but two sports.
“He works at it, he works at both sports," said Jimbo Fisher after Florida State's most recent scrimmage. "He’s not the guy who has the talent and goes back both ways, he’s spending time in the film room and he’s spending time at baseball and he goes and gets treatment on his arm and then he comes back out. He wants to do it, it’s in him and he’s doing a good job. But it really doesn’t surprise me.”
“I don’t have a social life anymore," joked Winston. "It’s hectic but I’m a kid, you know? That’s fun. Everyone dreams of doing multiple things, doing as many things as they can, possibly and this helps me stay out of trouble. You know I’d rather play multiple sports than get involved in stuff I don’t need to be involved in.”
It's a lot for anyone to handle, even a high-energy 'kid' like Winston. Between classes, studying, learning a football playbook, team meetings, practice, baseball practice and ballgames, Winston rarely has a free moment.
But he's not worried about burnout.
“That’s mental, that’s from the mental part of everything. So I don’t think it can," said Winston. "Well, I know it probably will be on my body, on my arm and everything but as long as I’m out there having fun that’s the last thing on my mind.”
The only thing on the 6-4 215-pound redshirt freshman's mind these day (when it comes to football, at least) is winning the starting quarterback job. Something he has already made progress towards.
Winston's rare blend of arm strength and athletic ability are impressive enough in and of themselves, but he's also demonstrated leadership on both the diamond and the practice field. Whether it's being the last guy off the field to work with teammates after a bad practice or calling the team together before a rally when the baseball team is trailing, Winston is already demonstrating his leadership ability.
He's also shown off an "it" factor to some of his teammates.
“I mean that boy's good, he puts the ball on the money, even his deep balls," said S Terrence Brooks. "He throws that ball right as they come out of the breaks so it makes it a little bit harder for us, he does a great job of looking us off and just having us on the edge at all times.”
“[He shows it with] just the ability to escape dangerous situations when the rush comes, his ability just to work with you," said WR Kenny Shaw. “He shows some signs that EJ had shown, that’s probably where his “it” factor comes from is his feet and ability to make decisions.”
If Winston plays the game a little bit like EJ Manuel did, thats with good reason. Manuel played a major role in mentoring Winston last season.
“EJ helped me a lot his first year just because he liked the fact he was my mentor and stuff like that," Winston said. "So he knew he had to do his job but he also knew ‘ok I got a little brother right here, let me help him out, fill him in on some stuff.’ He helped me a lot last year.”
Winston and Manuel worked together on a lot of things, but more than that Winston credits EJ with showing him what to expect at this level and how to handle it with dignity. After watching Manuel handle his own trials and tribulations all freshman year, Winston has already begun to apply those lessons to his own career.
For instance Winston really doesn't care about hype or pressure.
“EJ didn’t care either," he said. "You see where EJ’s going to finish up now. He’s going to get drafted. He didn’t care. He was just out there doing his job the whole time.”
“It’s easy to ignore because last year I sat the bench the whole year and didn’t see the field. So that was real easy to get over. I just really worry about winning, all that hype and all that other stuff that’ll come when you prove yourself.”
For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...Follow @PatrikNohe_MH