Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

April 13, 2014

ACC FOOTBALL: QB Winston continues to shine for Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jameis Winston admitted he's been tired at times this spring, and that was before he had 56 pass attempts in Florida State's spring game.

The reigning Heisman trophy winner has pulled double duty between football practices and his role as the closer/utility outfielder for the Seminoles baseball team. He played against Georgia Tech on Friday, flew back to campus at 11 a.m. Saturday, played in the 3 p.m. spring game and left to fly back to Atlanta after meeting with the media. The baseball team plays the final game of the Georgia Tech series Sunday.

Winston threw for 396 yards and two touchdowns in the defending national champion's spring game and led the Garnet team to a 31-14 victory over the Gold team.

The 56 pass attempts were more than he threw in any game during his dynamic freshman season. He said he hasn't thrown 56 pitches in a baseball game since high school.

''I was always mentally there,'' Winston said of the spring. ''Physically, there were some days I was drained, man. I'm a busy man. I've got to study and I'm a regular college student. Football is not particularly my job yet, so I've got to carry out my everyday life.

''I just can't sit around being lazy all day. I hate being bored. ... I'm always doing something, so I'm going to be tired sometimes. But if Jimbo asks me, `Jameis, are you tired?' I'm going to say, `No, coach.'''

Winston didn't look tired Saturday despite the hectic weekend and a slow start to the game. He completed 27 of 56 passes, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene and a 12-yarder to Jesus Wilson. Winston also had a tipped-ball interception by Jalen Ramsey.

The start was, in part, due to Winston continuing to build chemistry with a receiving corps that lost possible first round NFL draft pick Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw. The No. 1 offense played for the Garnet team and senior receiver Rashad Greene was the only pass-catcher with significant playing experience. Tight end Nick O'Leary was out after a recent motorcycle accident.

Winston was working with an inexperienced group going against one of the best group of defensive backs in the country. The No. 1 defense played for the Gold team.

''The more they play together ... the more you're going to know each other,'' coach Jimbo Fisher said. ''Early, they didn't get open as well, but that's kind of expected. But as the game went on they gradually made more plays and did things and we helped them get open with some formations and different things we did. I'm not disappointed in them.

''You relax and you realize the sky's not falling, the world's not coming to an end. Relax and play and play up to your capabilities.''

Greene led all receivers with 127 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions. Wilson caught four balls for 101 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Nigel Terrell showed flashes out of the backfield with four catches for 58 yards.

''It was up and down in the beginning, but toward the second half of spring (their development) kept progressing every day,'' Greene said. ''They finally realized how good we can be and understanding what attributes they bring to the team and how much of an impact they can bring to the team.''

Winston didn't play with Kermit Whitfield, who had a 100-yard kickoff return in the BCS championship game, and Isaiah Jones, but both are competing for significant roles. Whitfield had 79 yards on four catches and Jones had 81 on five receptions on the Gold team.

Winston said it's his job to be a coach and teacher with the younger receivers and he's eager to work with them during the summer.

Winston flashed his trademark smile at the beginning of his press conference, pulled out his two championship rings and kissed both before starting. He ended with a dash out the door with a flight to catch.

 

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