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August 3, 2011
During the prestigious Elite 11 Camp on Aug. 3, heralded Hueytown (Ala.) quarterback Jameis Winston announced that he had already picked his school and he would make his decision known between Alabama, Florida State and LSU today.
True to is word and with little fanfare, the four-star quarterback announced he was heading to FSU. He made the official announcement from a Birmingham, Ala. television station and it was broadcast on ESPN's College Football Live.
"It's been tough the whole time and I feel very confident with my decision," Winston said on the ESPNU telecast as he searched for a Seminole hat. "I think I want to be a Florida State Seminole."
Heading into the spring, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Rivals100 member was ranked as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. But after a strong performance at the Elite 11 camp in California, he could well be on his way to becoming the top quarterback in the country.
His No. 1 finish at the Elite 11 camp was not surprising considering he had 3,000 yards of total offense and 29 touchdowns for the Hueytown Golden Gophers last season.
"I think the plusses with (Florida State) and one of Jameis' first things is whatever school he was going to chose had to have a great football program and a great baseball program," Hueytown head coach Matt Scott told TideSports.com. "So Florida State obviously fits the bill there. They've got a great baseball tradition. From a football standpoint, I think they're a team on the rise. Obviously, Jimbo is very knowledgeable about quarterback play."
Scott also said FSU quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator Dameyune Craig developed a tight relationship with Winston that paid dividends for the Seminoles.
"He recruits our area," Scott said. "Obviously he had an impact there. Ain't no question about it, they worked hard recruiting him. The last two years, especially last year, he was here a lot. That definitely made an impact, there ain't no question."
But football isn't the only sport the rising senior excels in. Winston expects to be picked in the early rounds of June's MLB Draft. He had a .424 average with seven home runs and 15 doubles. As a pitcher, he finished with a 8-3 record, 92 strikeouts and a fastball that topped out at 92 miles per hour in a national showcase event.
So will he pursue his career on the gridiron or diamond? While baseball is certainly one of his loves, he told Rivals.com recruiting analyst Adam Gorney, football is 'my passion.'