Mack Brown defends decision to not aggressively recruit Jameis Winston
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston created a headache for Texas coach Mack Brown with a comment he made after his dominating performance against Pittsburgh on Monday night. Simply put, the freshman claims he would be playing for the Longhorns right now if they had offered him a scholarship.
A Texas source reportedly told CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman that Winston did not seem all that interested in the school. During an appearance on “Rome” Tuesday afternoon, Brown took the same stance.
“He’s a great player and we would have liked to have had him, so let’s get that straight,” the Texas coach began. “Alabama (where Winston is from) is not a hotbed for Texas recruiting, and Alabama and Auburn were winning national championships at that time.”
Brown then went on to explain how Texas was going through staff changes at the time and transitioning between offensive coordinators. Texas was coming off a 5-7 season in 2010, which Brown says could have resulted in a little “turmoil” that left the Longhorns behind in the process.
“I had someone that was very close to the situation that I really, really trusted that knew exactly what was going on,” he said. “I said, ‘Should we bring him in?’ They said absolutely not. It’s a two-horse race. It’s down to Florida State, who he’s committed to, and Alabama. You’re not going to be able to get in it, so you just need to stay out of it. And that’s what we did.”
While we have to see more from Winston before labeling him a Heisman Trophy candidate, Texas fans have to be irritated at the thought of their rebuilding team not pursuing a stud quarterback who claims the Longhorns were one of his top choices. Perhaps Winston would have gone to FSU anyway and is just angry Texas didn’t show more interest. We’ll probably never know.