FORT WORTH (AP) – Jameis Winston was in North Texas on Monday to accept the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top college quarterback. The Florida State star also managed a side trip to nearby Arlington to visit the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.
That’s where the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and the Seminoles will open their national title defense against Oklahoma State in August. Oh, and that’s also where the first College Football Playoff championship game will be played next January.
“That’s our little slogan – from Dallas to Dallas,” Winston said with a smile. “Hopefully, we’ll end up in the last game.”
But for now, Winston is setting his sights on helping the school win its first college baseball title following 21 appearances in the College World Series.
“The fans that we have in baseball – baseball being Florida State’s sport per se – to win a World Series . that would mean a lot,” he said.
Winston appeared in the Seminoles’ baseball season opener Friday against Niagara and drew a walk in a pinch-hit appearance. He pitched the final two innings of Saturday’s 4-1 victory over the Purple Eagles and recorded a save, retiring each of his six batters.
Winston went 1-2 with two saves and a 3.00 ERA last season with the Seminoles. He also played the outfield and hit .235 with nine RBIs.
In winning the Heisman Trophy, Winston became the second freshman to win the award – following Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, also a redshirt. He’s the first Heisman winner to also play baseball since 1985 honoree Bo Jackson of Auburn, who also grew up just southwest of Birmingham, Ala.
Like Jackson and Florida State’s own Deion Sanders, Winston would like to play both football and baseball professionally. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 12th round coming out of high school.
“That is my dream,” he said, “whether it’s me being a closer or me being a hitter. But I know I want to be an NFL quarterback.
“Obviously, it would be a tremendous honor to follow in the footsteps of the Bo Jacksons and the Deion Sanders to play both sports professionally. That’s just something that I have to worry about when it comes.”
Winston said he won’t miss any spring football practice despite his time on the diamond. He said he hasn’t looked at any films of last football season and will have much to study following baseball season.
“This summer, I’m really going to have to study myself and see the things that I can do,” he said.
Winston said he has talked to Manziel, but they didn’t discuss any tips for a Heisman winner returning for a sophomore season.
“He just told me, ‘Hey, stay true to yourself through the whole process,'” Winston said. “And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do that’ because that’s who I am.”
One of the other O’Brien honorees on Monday was Legends Award winner Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, with the Washington Redskins in 1988. Winston said he’s familiar with Williams’ place in sports history.
“Being the first African-American to do anything is a good honor,” he said.
Another honoree was former major leaguer Bobby Brown for his contributions to the foundation. The long-time Fort Worth cardiologist played eight seasons, all with the New York Yankees. Brown also served as president of the American League for 10 years and president of the Texas Rangers for one year.
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