Winston honored again

Playing two sports helps hone his game

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Winter of Winston continues for Florida State's redshirt freshman quarterback.

Jameis Winston is The Associated Press national player of the year, adding to his cadre of postseason accolades. He's this year's Heisman Trophy winner, the Walter Camp national player of the year, the Davey O'Brien quarterback of the year and the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year.

Seminole football fans should send a thank you note to Florida State's baseball program.

If not for coach Mike Martin Sr. and one of his assistants, Mike Martin Jr., Winston -- a two-sport athlete -- might not be preparing to lead the No.1-ranked Seminoles against No. 2 Auburn in the BCS championship game Jan. 6 with the opportunity to bring a third national title back to the Florida State campus.

Martin Jr. was on a recruiting trip to watch Winston during his junior year of high school when he called to let Fisher know. Fisher had tape of Winston on his desk and decided to put it in. About 30 minutes later, Fisher called Martin Jr. back and said, "Don't let him get away."

"Jimbo Fisher deserves the credit for giving the young man the opportunity to display his talents in another sport," Martin Sr. said.

Fisher covets players that come from diverse backgrounds where football wasn't their only sport.

Just like the Heisman voting, Winston was a landslide winner in AP player of the year voting. He received 49 out of 56 votes cast by AP Top 25 college football poll voters.

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch received three votes. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron got two votes. Boston College running back Andre Williams and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard each received one vote.

Winston is the first Florida State player to win the award, which has been handed out since 1998, and the first from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Florida State and Winston continued to excel despite a sexual assault investigation that became public last month.

Winston said baseball helped him "a lot with football because baseball is a failing game. As a quarterback you have to handle every situation the same.

"So when I throw a touchdown I'll celebrate and whatnot but when I throw a pick I keep my head up and say my fault guys and move on and keep stuff going. Baseball helped me with that."

■ Game: No. 1 Florida State (13-0) vs. No. 2 Auburn (12-1) in the BCS championship game, Pasadena, Calif.

■ When: 8:30 p.m. Jan. 6.

■ TV: ESPN.


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