Jameis Winston wanted to go to Texas, Longhorns weren’t interested?
Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston burst onto the scene in a huge way in his first career collegiate game on Monday night. The 18-year-old completed an incredible 25-of-27 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout win over Pittsburgh. He did not turn the ball over.
The performance left many assuming Winston must have had his choice of college programs when making his decision last year, but that was not the case. After the big win, Winston admitted he wanted to go to Texas.
“I’m an OU fan but I always wanted to go to Texas,” he said, via ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. “If I’d gotten offer from Texas I’d be going to Texas right now”
So what happened? Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com said he was told by a Texas source on Tuesday that Longhorns representatives contacted Winston’s high school coach and got the impression that he was not all that interested in going to Texas. Based on what Winston said Monday, that doesn’t make any sense.
Feldman also spoke to Winston’s high school football coach, Matt Scott. According to Scott, he called the Texas football office “four or five times” and once spoke to someone but never heard back.
“I said, ‘I know you get this call every single day,” Scott claims he told her. “But lemme tell you, I’ve got a guy some think is the No. 1 quarterback in the nation. Let me help you. You’re gonna want to get this message to the right folks. He’s interested in your school.”
Winston and Scott handled his recruitment together, sending out DVDs to schools like Ohio State and Miami and getting immediate responses. For whatever reason, Texas supposedly never showed interest.
“I can tell you this: They didn’t call me, and I was on the front line,” Scott said. “His dad made it clear he wanted Jameis and I to handle it. I can promise you, they didn’t call me and I called them multiple times. And it’s hard for me to believe that one of the nation’s top programs is gonna concede, ‘Well, we’re not going to get this guy.'”
Scott says Winston was a 4.0 student in high school, so character could not have been the issue for the Longhorns. Winston wound up choosing Florida State because he is a two-sport star in baseball and football and liked that it wouldn’t be a problem for him to play both at FSU.
“Bottom line, that [Texas] was the only school that he wanted to check out and they weren’t interested in him,” Scott reiterated.
Mack Brown must have had his reasons. It should be noted that Winston has played only one game against a horrible defense, so we’ll see if the Longhorns end up kicking themselves or not five weeks into the season. But for now, it appears they let one slip away.