Since the very moment on Feb. 3 of 2012 when Jameis Winston inked his signature on his National Letter of Intent to play football in Tallahassee, Fla. for the Florida State Seminoles, fans of the program had been waiting for what happened Monday night in Pittsburgh. After years of much inconsistent QB play, Seminoles fans thirsted for the days of FSU QBs like Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke–the two signal callers that brought crystal balls to the school.
So I would have to assume that after Pitt took the ball on the first drive and marched right down the field to the end zone, the collective screams of Winston living up to his hype were louder than ever. With Florida State ready to receive the ball on the ensuing kickoff, it was time–after nearly two years of anticipation–to find out that answer.
And then, this happened:
That video right there may be something to hold on to. That was not only the first touchdown pass of the young man’s career on that first Florida State drive, but that may be visual evidence of the first touchdown pass of one of the more impressive quarterbacks of our generation. Because, yes folks, the hype was real.
In the Steel City on Monday night, Jameis Winston put on the most impressive debut performance in FSU history. His final stats were an astonishing 25-of-27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns. Oh, and just for good measure, he also added a rushing touchdown. If Dennis Green were watching this game, I’m sure he stared bewildered at his television set and belted out a lovely rendition of, “He is who we thought he was!”
But it wasn’t just his superior athleticism that impressed most. We’ve seen a lot of freshman come through the ranks at the QB position with a skill set that makes things look easy for a variety of reasons. Generally, that reason is that they have great talent surrounding them to guide them.
No, what Winston showed that was most appealing was the way he commanded everything that happened in that offense. You can clearly see that he’s earned the trust of everyone that’s on the field with him.
Another feat that the redshirt freshman accomplished was to garner the attention of some of the more respected sports personalities across the country:
This guy Jameis Winston made me a believer after 1 half of football
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) September 3, 2013
This might be the best debut since “Appetite for Destruction.”
— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) September 3, 2013
FSU records are dropping like flies. Highest comp % in a FSU game ever WAS 28/32 for 87.5%. Right now Winston is 25/27 for 92.5% #yikes
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) September 3, 2013
Thinking Alabama native Jameis Winston is the worst loss Nick Saban has suffered in the past four years.
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) September 3, 2013
Those are just a few examples. Everyone from columnists to former NFL diva receiver Chad Johnson were raving at what they were seeing in front of them. The twitter universe is notorious for being the most skeptical place when something special is going on. Not tonight, however. Everyone knew what they were seeing was a moment they would never forget. It was as if they didn’t want it to end.
Well, here’s the good news. He’s only a redshirt freshman, so it’s not ending any time soon.
Jack is a Staff Writer for Saturday Blitz. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14CFB