June 1, 2010

Winston a 2012 QB with lots of potential

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Hueytown, Ala. might be best known for the Allison racing family of NASCAR fame but quarterback Jameis Winston is doing his best to change that.

Although he's just a rising junior, the 6-foot-3, 183-pounder is flying up the charts of would-be schools and already holds verbal offers from such powers at Alabama, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn.

Georgia assistant Scott Lakatos has also been in touch and recently left with a tape of the burgeoning young star, who like all high school players, cannot receive written offers until Sept. 1 of their junior year.

"They (Georgia) hadn't seen my DVD yet, so my coach gave him (Lakatos) one to take back," Winston said. "Most schools that have seen that DVD have offered, so I hope they (Georgia) comes back with an offer soon."

Although Winston said he's not leaning toward any one school, he likes what he sees from the Bulldogs.

"It would be pretty nice," Winston said. "I love all the SEC schools and I like what they (Georgia coaches) did with Matthew Stafford, plus I like Coach (Mark) Richt. He's a laid-back coach and always seems to look good on TV."

Although Hueytown is only 45 minutes from Tuscaloosa, Alabama wasn't necessarily his favorite team growing up - it was Oklahoma.

"I was an Oklahoma fan growing up," Winston admitted. "It was 2000 and I remember Josh Heupel was their quarterback; that was the first year I really started watching college football. I was six."

Ironically, Heupel is now recruiting Winston for the Sooners, who have yet to make a verbal offer.

Nevertheless, Winston plans on visiting the school in Norman, Okla. later this summer.

But Winston said he's nowhere close to making a final decision.

"I'm looking at everybody right now," Winston said. "Of course, Alabama is just 45 minutes away, but driving is not an issue. I just want to go to school for free."

But football isn't Winston's only game. He's pretty good at baseball, too, and wants to play both in college.

The program which offers him the chance to do both will rise up his list of potential schools.

"My interest in them would be a little higher," said Winston, who batted .450 with seven home runs and went 8-3 as a pitcher.

Winston said he wouldn't turn pro if drafted out of high school.

"I don't want to get drafted out of high school," he said. "I'd rather play both sports in college, have fun and get better at the same time."

Winston, who said he's been timed at 4.56 in the 40-yard dash, has been invited to camps from all over the country, but only plans on attending a couple, including one in Miami.

He's glad schools so far have liked what they've seen.

"I'm a throwing quarterback, but I'll take it down and run if I have to. But I look to throw first," said Winston. "I've still got to work on my patience, thinking more in the pocket and not trying to force everything. There's still a lot I can get better at."

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