In my many years covering college football and college football recruiting I have come across many passionate fan bases. Miami fans are fun because they always believe they are going to win. Had Miami played Alabama last year they would fill my Twitter account with reasons why the ‘U’ would knock off Saban’s squad.
Florida fans have massive expectations. Nothing outside of a championship is good enough for them. 2009 team goes 13-1…well that’s nice but not nice enough says Gator fan. Will Muschamp is a promising head coach says college football nation. BEAT GEORGIA FOR ONCE! says Gator fan.
FSU fans love their Seminoles to pieces but they have been a bit of a tortured group thanks to several wide rights and championship near misses. For the most part they just want to be happy but they have been burned by their past. Whenever good news hits FSU nation they sit quietly, afraid to cheer with the expectation that bad news will surely follow.
And that’s why I am begging FSU fans to enjoy Jameis Winston while they can. I understand he appears to be too good to be true. The nation’s top quarterback in the recruiting class of 2012 runs like a gazelle, has a rocket arm, is a natural student of the game and also one heck of a baseball player.
FSU fans will say he’s so young. He’s just a redshirt freshman. Chris Rix started as a redshirt freshman and left the school disliked by half the fans and some teammates. Drew Weatherford started as a redshirt freshman and while he was liked by nearly everyone he just could not put it all together on the field. Xavier Lee had all the talent but couldn’t get to class on time. All right, I get it; you have all been down this road before with a hyped, young signal caller.
But most of that happened under the less-than-stellar regime of Jeff Bowden and Daryl Dickey. Say what you want about Jimbo Fisher (and most of you do) but the guy can coach quarterbacks. Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel were both first-round draft choices and Winston has the potential to be better than both of those guys combined!
Guys like Winston may only come around once every 20 years if a program is so lucky. Understand that every minute you spend worrying about whether the hype of Winston is too much to bear will be a minute that you could have been enjoying what this young man has to offer.
FSU fans, Jameis Winston wants to be your quarterback. He wants to soak in your cheers while lighting up the scoreboard at Doak Campbell Stadium. He also wants you to send him plenty of cheeseballs because apparently that’s the best cure for ‘Manziel Disease’.
But whatever you do please don’t be scared because ‘Jaboo ain’t afraid of nothing’.