Football will always be Jameis Winston’s strength. He readily admits that.

But baseball, as the sporting world is starting to find out, is legitimately something Winston loves as well.

Winston and FSU’s baseball team faced the New York Yankees in an exhibition game on Tuesday. The Seminoles lost 8-3 and Winston went 0-for-2 at the plate. But the talk before and after the game was not how Winston did as a batter. Instead, it was whether he could continue to play football and baseball for the next several years, perhaps professionally.

“I’m just 20 years old, living my life. I want to play both for as long as I can,” Winston said. “I love both. I’ve got a strong passion for both. I mean I probably have more success in football, but baseball is a passion of mine and I want to play as long as possible.”

Almost immediately after Winston won the Heisman Trophy in December, talking heads began discussing the inherent risks with him playing baseball – especially as a pitcher – and how it could put the quarterback at a higher risk to sustain an arm injury.

Then Jimbo Fisher mentioned, albeit in passing, on National Signing Day that he thinks Winston will play at FSU for two more seasons. Those comments were generally met with skepticism. Why would Winston forgo the NFL Draft after next season when he’s projected to be a top pick?

Remember, it comes down to Winston wanting to play baseball as long as possible. There would be no way he could prepare for the NFL Draft next spring and still play baseball in college, if his goal is to ultimately play both sports professionally.


On Tuesday, the narrative shifted. On scout told USA Today that “Winston is more than a novelty, and definitely a solid prospect on the mound." From the national media’s perspective, it’s no longer if Winston should try playing both sports, but if he is talented enough to do both.

“It is [something he wants to do] and that’ll be something for whatever organizations he wants to get involved with,” Fisher said. “But right now if he’s able to do it, I say do it. I think it’s very good for him and those decisions will be made at another time. …I think he definitely has ability, but it has to be the right situation at the right time.”

FSU has a history of dual-sport athletes. Deion Sanders, considered one the best cornerbacks in NFL history, played baseball and football at FSU before having a pro career in both sports.

“Deion was one of a kind. Jaboo is one of a kind,” FSU baseball coach Mike Martin said. “Deion was probably the best athlete to come through Florida State in the last, well, since I've been there. The guy could do anything. Jaboo, I've never seen him run a leg in the 440. And neither have I seen Deion switch hit. So there's certainly similarities but I would have to say that Jaboo contributes more to his baseball team than Deion did when he was at Florida State.”

The difference is that Winston pitches and plays quarterback, while Sanders as a corner and outfielder. One takes a substantial physical toll on the body and the other is as mentally straining as any position in all major team sports.

But Fisher and Martin feel Winston can continue to do both.