- David M. Hale, College football
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A Heisman Trophy and a national championship weren't enough to deter Jameis Winston from his plans to be a star in two sports.
Winston reiterated Wednesday that he plans to play baseball again this spring in spite of his elevated celebrity after leading Florida State to a 34-31 win over Auburn in the VIZIO BCS National Championship on Monday.
Winston, who was named the winner of the 10th annual Manning Award on Wednesday, said baseball serves as an appropriate distraction as his off-the-field life grows busier.
"It keeps me busy instead of dealing with all the outside stuff and dealing with everything coming my way," Winston said. "I keep playing sports and I've got to keep my grades up, so I won't be focused on any outside things."
Winston played baseball last spring, too, serving as an outfielder and one of the Seminoles' top relief pitchers.
There are obvious drawbacks to playing both sports, however. Injuries present a serious risk, and Winston admitted that pitching may have thrown off his mechanics on the football field at times.
"Sometimes I throw with my shoulder up, from flipping the ball over in baseball season," Winston said. "Sometimes in football I won't put my hips to my target."
Still, for any potential pitfalls of playing both sports, Winston said baseball is a necessary antidote to the pressures of succeeding as Florida State's star QB.
"It helps me to handle those bad times than what I would if I didn't play baseball," Winston said. "Being in the batter's box, you never know what's coming at you. … That's playing quarterback. You don't know what the defense is going to do, what the coverage is going to be. It helps me mentally as a quarterback."
FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher has said several times he approves of Winston's decision and feels baseball has helped his quarterback improve on the football field, too.
Florida State's 2014 baseball season begins Feb. 14.
A Heisman Trophy and a national championship weren’t enough to deter Jameis Winston from his plans to be a star in two sports.