As much as it pains me to say this, Jameis Winston was one heck of an athlete in college. I attended the University of Florida at the same time he was busy leading the Florida State Seminoles to a BCS National Championship and winning the 2013 Heisman Trophy, so needless to say you had to hate on the ACC team’s quarterback.
Winston’s abilities and instincts extended far beyond the gridiron. As a two-year member of Mike Martin’s baseball program at FSU, Winston could also pitch and hit pretty darn well. The 6-foot-4 baseball player was a switch hitter on the diamond and pumped 95-MPH fastballs as the team’s closer. He posted a 1.08 ERA in 2014, showing he was basically unhittable on the mound. It was easy to see why the Texas Rangers had drafted him out of high school in the 2012 MLB Draft.
Of course, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2015 NFL Draft first overall pick’s collegiate career wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Crab legs were stolen (on video). So was soda from Burger King. He played through a sexual assault investigation. Plus that one time he stood on a table and shouted something very stupid and vulgar.
Another instance of controversy came when Florida State and Florida’s baseball teams in 2014. When the two teams cleared benches, Jameis Winston was right in the middle of the shoving match.
UF-FSU Bench-Clearing Brawl
The Florida Gators and Seminoles met at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida, on March 25, 2014. Florida boasted a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning of the baseball game when FSU’s D.J. Stewart rolled a weak grounder down the first-base line.
Florida pitcher Danny Young tried to field it and tag Stewart in one swift motion and promptly got bulldozed. That led to first baseman Zack Powers bolting to get way too close to Stewart’s face. Stewart, who would become a 2015 first-round pick, shoved him and threw his helmet to the ground.
It was on. The benches cleared. Winston immediately joined the baseball brawl.
Jameis Winston Had to be Held Back
If you ask me, this is why Florida State fans loved Winston.
The Heisman Trophy winner was set to be drafted in less than two months. He was about to become a multi-millionaire, and yet here he was in the middle of a feud defending his boys against FSU’s most-hated rival. He could’ve easily said, “nah, you guys go ahead. I can’t risk any more controversy.”
Winston was not only held back by a police officer in the photo above, but teammates had to basically drag him away from the scuffle. You just know one of those UF players was champing at the bit to land a punch against him.
The pride of Hueytown, Alabama, still became the first NCAA college football player taken that year. Could he have tried his hand in the MLB as well? Probably. Just imagine if he and Tim Tebow ever faced each other one day.