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Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston open to two-sport stardom

Winston won a Heisman playing quarterback for Florida State University this year, but hopes to also play baseball professionally.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State Seminoles Heisman winner and new national champion quarterback Jameis Winston may be looking to become a two sport player in his professional career, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.

Winston, a sophomore, has played both football and baseball for Florida State in his collegiate career, though the former has been the sport in which he has been most heralded. Winston talked to reporters prior to the Heisman ceremony last month about his desire to play both sports professionally.

"I want to be better than Bo Jackson," Winston said, referring to the legendary running back and outfielder. "Of course, I want to keep doing both. That’s my dream."

He has played both pitcher and outfield for the FSU baseball team. In 17 relief appearances in 2013, he posted a 3.00 ERA while striking out 21 batters and walking 12 over 27 innings. As an outfielder, he played 41 games and hit .235/.377/.345 with 10 of his 28 hits going for extra bases.

Winston was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 15th round of the 2012 draft, but ultimately were unable to sign him due to new restrictions put in place by the league in an effort to limit signing bonuses. Had the old system been in place, the Rangers and Winston would have come to a deal on a seven-figure contract that would see him continuing to play quarterback at FSU while working with the Rangers minor league affiliates over spring break and in summer.

Winston will continue to play baseball for the Seminoles and will once again be eligible for the MLB draft in 2015. His next two baseball seasons could go a long way in determining if he can truly handle playing both football and baseball. Winston has stayed in touch with Rangers officials and the team remains hopeful they will be able to sign him in the future. However, if Winston performs well with FSU Texas may not get the chance to draft him again.

However, he hopes of becoming a two-sport player may rest on the decision of the NFL team that drafts him. There is a good possibility a team seeing him as their franchise quarterback will not want to risk him getting injured playing baseball. Furthermore, an NFL team would likely prefer he work on his quarterbacking in the offseason rather than focusing on MLB. If Winston is forced to choose just one sport to play, he would certainly select to continue in football given that is the more likely path to success.

Other players who played both sports, like Jackson and Deion Sanders, did not play quarterback, often considered the most valuable player on a team.

Winston started all 13 of the Seminoles regular season games, completing 237 of 349 passes for 3820 yards and 38 touchdowns. In FSU's win over Auburn in the National Championship Game, he threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns.