The word potential is only nine letters long, but there is not a bigger word in the dictionary when referencing an athlete’s budding set of skills thrust upon them from the omnipresent sports media. Rarely do players live up to their potential as the sports lexicon is littered with endless cases of wasted potential, but Florida State Seminole’s quarter back, Jameis Winston is the rare exception who is living up to his.
College fans from Tallahassee to Tacoma waited with baited breath to see what the Seminole’s redshirt freshmen would do when he stepped onto the field this season after an offseason full of superlative. Winston was college football’s secret weapon, the anti-Johnny Manziel and the player who would take Jimbo Fisher’s team back to the BCS Championship Game.
His college debut against the Pittsburgh Panthers was impressive for a fifth year senior let alone a redshirt freshman seeing his first action since his senior year in high school at Hueytown high school in Alabama. The four touchdowns he threw were twice as many incomplete passes on the evening and the 25 passes he completed traveled 356 yards and just for good measure he ran one in showcasing the dual-threat ability essential to today’s game.
This would not be a case of beginner’s luck that would dissipate when defenses got film on him and figured out how to scheme against him. He is not a one hit wonder as he has proven in the games to follow including a 63-0 pasting over the then ranked Maryland Terrapins that saw the 6-foot-4, 228-pound signal-caller toss a career-high 393 yards and five touchdowns.
The hype was justified and not just based on the first five games of his college career. It’s justified because of his high school pedigree, his dominance at the Elite 11 camp and the fact he beat out Jacob Coker — a player with first-round skills — is enough to believe in his greatness.
In a sport where we are always looking for the next big thing, one does not need to look any further than the quarterback leading the undefeated and No. 6 ranked Seminoles.