August 25, 2010
Football or baseball for Winston?
The early buzz for the class of 2012 in the state of Alabama is that it could turn out to be one of the most talented groups ever to come out of the state and one of the most talked-about members of that class so far as been Hueytown quarterback Jameis Winston. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound signal caller was one of the state's top quarterbacks as a sophomore last season and enters this season with more confidence and experience.
"We start our season this week against Pelham," Winston said. "I've got my eyes on the prize right now. I'm on a mission. I want to win every single game this season, starting with this first one. We really want to come out and make a statement with them being a 6A school and us being 5A."
"My decision-making has improved a lot since the end of last season. I had too many interceptions last season (six) and I wanted to really work on it this offseason. I feel like reading coverages is second nature to me now and I'm finding that I can make good decisions a lot quicker now. It's just something that comes with experience and practice."
With early offers from both Alabama and Auburn as well as Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and others, Winston plans on continuing to feel out the recruiting process over the course of the season.
"I'm going to keep in touch with all the coaches that are recruiting me but I'm going to try to keep recruiting from interfering with my school life and my season. It will be something I mostly handle on weekends until the season is over."
"Right now, I know for sure that I will be at the Alabama-Penn State game, the Alabama-Florida game and the Florida State-Wake Forest game. I will definitely go to some other games later in the season but those are the only three I know I'm going to right now."
One factor that has been heavily discussed when it comes to Winston's recruitment is his status as a highly-touted baseball prospect. Despite the lure of a major league contract, Winston insists that his plans for the immediate future involve playing college football.
"What I want more than anything else is to be a Division-I college football quarterback. I love baseball but playing football for a major program is what I really want. I talked to a baseball scout yesterday and he was pretty understanding of how I feel. He said that playing pro baseball will pay for my education as well but he really didn't pressure me. Wherever I go, I'm going to try to play football and baseball so that the pro baseball route could still be available to me after my college career is over."
While Winston is currently focused on building a winning team at Hueytown, he has also been thinking about his future as a collegiate player and may be working on helping to build his future team as well.
"Reggie Ragland and I are really close and we've decided that we're definitely going to the same school no matter what. We may even make our announcements together. The two of us also talk to Kwon Alexander and Marcus Turner a lot as well and the four of us have all talked about the idea of playing together in college. The class of 2012 is going to be a really special group in this state and a lot of us know each other and grew up together. There's a feeling out there that if we all decided to go somewhere together, we could do some pretty great things. We want to compete for championships and playing together gives us all a better chance to do that."
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