Jameis Winston is a Heisman Trophy winner and the quarterback for the national champion, Florida State Seminoles. He spent much of the past year in the national spotlight -for the right and wrong reasons -and handled it with professionalism and poise. That does not however make him impervious to being star-struck. Winston is also a relief pitcher/outfielder for the FSU baseball team. His collegiate squad faced the New York Yankees on Tuesday in an exhibition game. The two-sport star was quoted as saying he was “star-struck to meet Derek Jeter -the captain of the team of his favorite baseball team. Winston described being on the same field as the future Hall-of-Famer as “surreal”. The face of college football told the shortstop it was an honor to meet him and even addressed him as “Mr. Jeter”. The 20-year-old compared it to what little kids must feel like when the meet him. It very well may be on the same level.
The two-sport star is seemingly on top of the world. He would be the number one overall pick in this April’s NFL draft if he was eligible. Florida State will be the favorites to repeat as champions next football season. So how exactly can Winston be star-struck? That speaks to the class, excellence and longevity of Derek Jeter. When Jeter was getting ready to start his Rookie-of-the-Year season in 1996, Winston was all of 2-years-old. It’s doubtful Winston remembers any of the Yankees dominance of the late nineties, but that doesn’t matter. Derek Jeter’s heroism stretches across multiple generations. To those of us that remember the late 80s and early 90s Yankees, Jeter is viewed as somewhat of a savior. The fans in Winston’s generation started watching baseball when Jeter was in his prime and a perennial All-Star. Even those younger than Winston have been fortunate enough to witness the greatness of number 2.
Winston is starting a ride that he hopes will see him achieve great things. Derek Jeter has spent almost two decades achieving great things. Only time will tell what Jameis Winston’s legacy is. Derek’s is already written. So while we watch an all-time great in the twilight of his career, we can also appreciate a man who is embarking on a quest to become great.