Jameis Winston is best known for leading the Florida State football team to a national title this season, but, before he was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in Tallahassee, Fla., he was a starter on the Seminoles’ baseball team.
Winston, who made 32 starts in the field and 17 relief appearances for FSU during the 2013 season, rejoined his teammates on the diamond soon after winning the national championship on the gridiron. The sophomore has some high expectations ahead of him this season, too, as Baseball America named him to its preseason All-America third team as a utility player.
During his freshman season, Winston hit .235 with seven doubles, three triples and 21 runs scored in 32 starts in the lineup (22 in the outfield, 10 as designated hitter). On the mound, the right-hander finished with an 1-2 record, 3.00 ERA, 21 strikeouts and two saves in 27 innings of work.
Florida State coach Mike Martin said last month that Winston’s celebrity status won’t affect the team.
“We will use Jameis just like we do everybody else,” he said, per ESPN. “We’re not going to treat him any differently, and he doesn’t want to be treated any differently.”
Winston will have a similar role as last season, Martin said.
“He’s a Seminole baseball player now. We’re going to use him in the outfield, we’re going to use him on the mound, we’re going to use him as a DH some,” ” Martin said. “But we want him to be our closer when it’s all said and done. That’s what we’re going to prepare him to be.”
Winston has said he wants to continue his baseball career, at least while in college.
“It keeps me busy instead of dealing with all the outside stuff and dealing with everything coming my way,” Winston said, per ESPN. “I keep playing sports, and I’ve got to keep my grades up, so I won’t be focused on any outside things.”
Winston is the overwhelming favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL draft, meaning this is likely his final season on the diamond.
The sixth-ranked Seminoles open the season Feb. 14 against Niagara University.
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