On Monday, the Florida State Seminoles were looking at life without EJ Manuel. Some questioned how good the offense would be without an established, seasoned quarterback taking snaps under center.
Following Monday’s season opener against Pittsburgh, a redshirt-freshman’s name was trending across the nation, and his name was Jameis Winston. His performance on Labor Day had many people around the nation asking if he could be a Heisman winner, or be able to lead a prolific offense like the Noles to a national championship.
While people are looking at the future, let’s look at the past.
Winston would not be at Florida State right now if he had been offered a scholarship at one particular school. He had offers from Alabama, LSU and Stanford before eventually signing with Florida State. However, Winston said that he would not be going to Florida State right now if he had been offered a scholarship to play for the Texas Longhorns.
Let’s think about that for a second.
If Texas head coach Mack Brown had offered this kid a scholarship, how good would the Longhorns be? Would Florida State be worse off? How impactful would this kid have been?
To sum everything up: different. If Winston went to the Longhorns, they could be sitting in a different position right now. In 2012, the Longhorns went 9-4 and beat Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. David Ash was the primary starter, but Winston’s potential and playmaking ability would have put Ash’s role in jeopardy. Even if they went with Ash last year and decided to redshirt Winston, the explosive freshman would be starting in his place in 2013.
The Longhorns would be a bigger threat to the BCS Championship, with Winston as the starter. The kid is that good.
The Seminoles’ situation would have changed also. Maybe they would be back on the recruiting trail. Maybe they let Jacob Coker or Sean McGuire start. They definitely would not be as good as they are with Winston.
So why didn’t Brown offer Winston a scholarship? Apparently Brown thought Winston wasn’t serious about rescinding his commitment to Florida State. Brown spoke with someone he trusted throughout the whole process. When asked why he didn’t recruit Winston, Brown’s source told him that Winston had narrowed it down to Alabama and Auburn and noted that Winston could possibly play professional baseball and that Brown would be wasting his time recruiting him.
As it turns out, Winston wanted to go to Texas. He said that he was a lifelong Oklahoma Sooners fan, but said he would have gone to Texas if he had been offered a scholarship.
Brown’s regime has already come under scrutiny for not recruiting Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel, as well as not aggressively pursuing Andrew Luck. Add Winston to the list.
Brown, on 790 the Zone in Atlanta Thursday, said that he has liked what he has seen from Ash, but wouldn’t say that he would be starting over Winston had the FSU quarterback gone to Texas to play for the Longhorns.
It’s fun to think about how things could have been, but now let’s dive back to reality.
Winston could have many accolades when the 2013 season ends. He could take Florida State to the national championship on Jan. 6. He could be the best quarterback Florida State has had since Chris Weinke. He could win the Heisman Trophy. He could be the best player in college football.
And he could have been a Longhorn.