Jameis Winston took the world by storm this fall when he became the second freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy. Many teams are drooling at the chance to choose Winston in the 2015 NFL draft, but now the MLB might be able to share in the excitement. According to AL.com's Jon Solomon, Winston wants to channel his inner Bo Jackson and play professionally in both baseball and football.
What most people don't know is that Winston was actually drafted in 2012 by the Texas Rangers in the 15th round. He was drafted as both a pitcher and an outfielder after playing for the Seminoles in 2013. Now, Winston doesn't want to play for just any team-- he has his eyes set on the Yankees or the Braves.
Winston described his admiration for athletes like Bo Jackson:
"No one can be Bo Jackson. I mean, (…) if he wouldn't have gotten hurt he probably would have been in the Hall of Fame in both baseball and football. So that's something that's unrealistic. But I'm not going to tell myself I can't do that."
Even though Winston might have the talent to be a two-sport athlete, it just doesn't seem practical. Not only do the seasons overlap, but in the summer Winston would be forced to choose between playing in baseball games and going to training camp. It's hard to imagine that an NFL team would allow its star quarterback to miss training camp to play baseball, and it's unlikely that any MLB team would offer Winston a contract knowing the potential injury that comes with playing football.
Furthermore, if Winston does become a professional pitcher and quarterback, he would be using his throwing arm all year round. MLB teams are already cautious when it comes to young pitchers' arms. Every Yankee fan remembers "Joba Rules," and every Nationals fan remembers when ace Stephen Strasburg was shut down right before the 2012 playoffs.
Even ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit has his doubts:
“I love seeing guys play multiple sports, but he plays quarterback. It’s very different than Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson. As much as he wants to play both, because he plays quarterback, eventually I think he’s going to have to make a decision. Talk to John Elway about it. There are a lot of quarterbacks who thought about playing both and eventually had to make a decision”
Winston would be putting his career at risk with the increased possibility of injuries and he could also end up hurting the teams that sign him as well. Even though it would be every sports lovers’ dream to watch a dual-sport athlete, it’s just not logical option for Jameis Winston.