TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jameis Winston’s delivery is spot on.
His throwing motion, both in baseball and football? Yes.
His punchlines? Yes again.
Winston held court for nearly 20 minutes at Florida State’s media day on Sunday, speaking with the presence of a confident senior with years of experience and not a redshirt freshman who hasn’t thrown a college pass.
Just 19, Winston is smart, engaging and funny. He’s serious on the field, where he is in a competition with Jacob Coker to win the starting quarterback job heading in to the Seminoles’ opener at Pittsburgh on Labor Day.
But Winston is also quick to crack a joke, on or off the field.
And on Sunday, the presumed frontrunner to win the starting quarterback job had plenty of them.
On the pressure or the spotlight being on him, Winston replied: “Look at everyone around us. We have a veteran offensive line, we have veteran wide receivers, we have two, three, four great backs. So there is absolutely no pressure.”
On FSU’s defense: “Our defense is deadly this year. Being a young quarterback, facing that, this is why (coach) Jimbo (Fisher) has put a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL, facing a defense like that every time.”
Winston wants to be a doctor one day, possibly a podiatrist. When a reporter asked him about his bedside manner, Winston quipped: “I can make you comfortable in a black church.”
Another reporter asked about “Johnny Manziel disease,” in reference to the Texas A&M quarterback’s penchant for creating headlines this offseason. Winston said, “If I get I get ‘Manziel disease,’ I want every one of y’all to get your mics and just start (Winston motions hitting himself on the head repeatedly). Just like that.”
On his sense of humor: “I love putting smiles on people’s faces. When people are down, having a bad day (he will say), ‘The worst thing is a rainy day with no laughs.’ When it’s a sunny day, people want to be smiling. On a rainy day, people want to be dull. There’s no reason for that. I try to make everybody smile, laugh. Every day is going to be a good day at Florida State.”
Winston’s spring game provided a glimpse of his talent and showed that there may be many good days ahead of Florida State. He completed 12 of 15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in Florida State’s spring game on April 13. Coker, playing through a foot injury, was 15 of 26 for 186 yards, a touchdown and a pair of interceptions.
Florida State fans saw the quarterbacks’ performance (albeit just one day) in April. And a few days later, the most experienced quarterback, Clint Trickett, opted to transfer and landed at West Virginia.
That kicked off a summer of anticipation. Conversations have turned toward what Winston can deliver in the fall and down the road — before he has even been named the starter.
Winston says he has plenty to learn. But in his typical fashion, Winston made it sound like it would be a smooth path that he would travel with his teammates.
“Like they say, it takes the whole nation to raise one kid,” Winston said. “I got this whole team to raise me and hopefully be a great quarterback one day.”