Jameis, before he was famous

He wants to be liked and he wants to win at all costs. He craves support but finds motivation from any person or situation that stands in his way.

"At the end of the day, he doesn't think there's anybody better than him," Scott said. "And usually, there's not."

• • •

Winston was, despite it all, a kid trying to get by.

He wanted to someday give back to his parents. They come from modest means and raised Jameis in a strict household. Antonor still works in traffic maintenance. Loretta works in Social Security.

They've always bought into their son's grand dream. Conquering college football was step one, and even Antonor admits now he didn't think it would happen this quickly. Now that he has done that, it's easy for others to misunderstand the greater goal. What a young Jameis wanted everyone to realize was this: He loves football and baseball equally. Long before he was hoisting the Heisman, his concept of greatness was becoming the very best at both sports.

"I'm a football player when it's football time. A baseball player when it's baseball time," Winston said. "I'm two different people."

Football was his best sport, baseball his hardest. Winston loved that he can control a game as the quarterback. He admired the humbling nature of baseball and that it sets him up to fail. One demands his fire, the other requires calm patience.

If you know Winston, you're not surprised he's now back in the batting cage less than a month after the BCS championship.

"You can't take either sport away from me," he said. "It's easy to like both equally, because it's me. It's my choice."

He's already the runaway favorite to be the No. 1 pick of next year's NFL draft, but to Winston that's not enough. That's not maximizing his potential. He's serious about playing both games as long as he can.

"That's still his plan," Antonor said recently. "That's his dream."

Winston's remarkably ambitious plans are coming to fruition. His father admiringly called this the "blueprint." Only Jameis knows what will come next.

But that's how it's always been. Before he walked off the Texas practice field in 2012, days away becoming a Seminole and embarking on his unstoppable future, Winston offered up one last answer that proved as prescient as the rest.

"I'm just ready to step right in the door and kick it in," he said. "Get this party started. I've got a long life ahead of me."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...