Aug 23, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jameis Winston has been named Florida State's starting quarterback.
Entrenched in a nationally-hyped battle with teammate Jacob Coker throughout the duration of FSU's fall camp, Winston was officially revealed as the Seminoles' No. 1 signal caller in a post-practice announcement by head coach Jimbo Fisher Friday evening.
Winston, a heralded redshirt freshman and former five-star recruit, entered camp earlier this month on the heels of a memorable spring in which he threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the annual Garnet and Gold Game and also competed as a relief pitcher and outfielder for the 'Noles' baseball team. His competition with Coker had been one of college-football's hot-button topics since the moment former FSU quarterback Clint Trickett elected to transfer to West Virginia in May.
After splitting first-team camp repetitions equally with Coker over the past 2 1/2 weeks, Fisher saw enough in his potential-star pupil to give him the reins to an offense that will take the field for the first time in 2013 at Pittsburgh Sept. 2.
"Just a little more consistency ... for a longer period of time," Fisher said, when asked why Winston won the job. "Like I said, Jake is ready to play, too. Jameis, I thought -- as we ranked and talked about it as a staff -- did some different things. Both of them really started to take command of things as camp wore on. I thought Jameis did a little better job in the beginning. You're being close; you're splitting hairs when you really get down to it. That's not 'coach talk' or anything else. That's the truth.
"That was a great competition and I loved the way they handled it between each other, and how the team handled it."
When he enters the game at Heinz Field in a little more than one week, Winston will be the first redshirt freshman to start at quarterback for the 'Noles since EJ Manuel did so against Wake Forest in 2009. Winston now replaces Manuel, who started the past two seasons for FSU and was a first-round NFL Draft selection by the Buffalo Bills in April.
"Like I said, it was a tough decision," Fisher said. "And that doesn't take away from what Jameis did. I thought his consistency levels and the things he did ... he played extremely well. But Jake did too. I thought they both made plays. I thought they raised each other's performance every day. They just kept pushing each other. And they did it in a great way ... and a constructive way for the team. And I think the team responded that way to it.
"It made us better as a football team."