Guys have played both pro baseball and pro football before. Deion Sanders once famously helicoptered between an Atlanta Falcons football game and an Atlanta Braves NLCS game. Bo Jackson became a Pro Bowler and an All-Star in the NFL and MLB respectively. Brian Jordan gave it a shot for a time as well.
And then there’s Jameis Winston, Heisman Trophy winning quarterback of the Florida State Seminoles and Texas Rangers draft pick. He thinks he can pull a Deion too. Difference between Winston and the other guys who’ve pulled off the trick? Winston plays quarterback. Those other guys did not.
Quarterback is not like other NFL positions. It’s a position that requires a huge time commitment, a ton of mental preparation to go with the physical demands. The idea that a guy can play pro baseball and still succeed as an NFL quarterback? It has a lot of people shaking their heads.
Jameis Winston has a message for the doubters: Don’t doubt me bro.
“You can do anything you put your mind to,” Winston said at a BCS Championship Game media session. “A lot of people are going to say, no way, he’s a quarterback, Bo Jackson was a running back. But if I put my mind to it — and the one thing I always seem to do is gain the trust of my teammates — if I can convince those guys I can be your quarterback and still go play baseball for the Atlanta Braves or New York Yankees…”
Several NFL quarterbacks have been drafted by baseball teams, including John Elway and Russell Wilson. Both those players eventually gave up their baseball dreams to focus entirely on football. It was the right decision for both.
Winston will probably end up following their lead. Right now he’s a freshman in college, living the dream, making it look easy. Once he hits the NFL and sees the massive commitment required to succeed at QB in that league, you have to believe he’ll put baseball on the back burner.
Call me a doubter, a hater, whatever, but I don’t see Jameis Winston becoming the Deion Sanders of quarterbacks. I don’t see him jumping into a helicopter after a Jets game and flying to Yankee Stadium to pitch for the pinstripers. It would be awesome, but it’s not happening in our dimension.