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Jameis Winston says he would’ve liked to play for Stanford and Jim Harbaugh in college

The former Florida State quarterback has re-examined his college choice a couple times now.

Rose Bowl - Oregon v Florida State Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston won a Heisman Trophy and national championship at Florida State. As a five-star recruit out of Alabama in 2012, he was heavily recruited by everyone and accepted into Stanford. The Cardinal and the Crimson Tide were both in the running for Winston until late in the process, with FSU’s baseball program figuring into the decision.

Now he’s saying he might’ve done that one over again, if he had the chance.

“It was really me just not really knowing how prestigious Stanford really was,” Winston told Bay Area media this week, ahead of his team’s game against the 49ers. “I look back all the time and see how if I went to Stanford what way my life could have turned. But, you know, you make your decisions and you go with them and you own them.”

“Yeah, I mean, just because Stanford is a great school,” Winston said when asked to confirm he’d re-do his college choice. “You are who you place yourself around. I would have just loved the opportunity to go to Stanford and be around some of my friends out there.”

In 2015, while preparing for the NFL Draft with Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, he said:

These guys don't know how blessed they are to have this kind of facility [at Michigan]. I mean, Florida State, we're a very prestigious school, we have nice stuff, but we don't have this. I'm sorry, I love Florida State. Go 'Noles till the day I die, but they're so much [more] advanced than us.

It was a blessing to meet a guy like [Harbaugh]. It was an honor to meet him. All of his accomplishments, and the type of coach that he is, I wish I could have played for him.

Winston was recruited to Stanford by David Shaw, who followed Harbaugh as the Cardinal head coach, so he’s now said he’s “wished” he could’ve played for a different head coach and at a different university. That Harbaugh praise didn’t necessarily feel like a Jimbo Fisher diss, since maybe he would’ve liked to have played for both. This time, he’s more or less saying he’d choose a different school if he got to do Signing Day over.

Pretty rare insight into a pro athlete’s thinking.