Winston hits the road

CLEMSON - With all due respect to Pittsburgh and Boston College, Jameis Winston hasn't exactly played in a hostile road environment.

Well, not as a football player, as Dabo Swinney pointed out. Winston put his athletic prowess on display earlier this spring as an outfielder/pitcher on the Florida State baseball team.

"I think he's a very poised young man," Swinney said. "He plays baseball, and baseball is probably as bad as any sport out there as far as having to have some thick skin, and I think that helps him."

As a pitcher, Winston had a 1-2 record and a 3.00 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 27 innings of work. He finished the season hitting .235 with nine RBI to go along with a .377 on base percentage and a .345 slugging percentage.

Through five games on the gridiron this season, Winston has completed 90 of 123 passes for 1,441 yards with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions. He's also rushed for 135 yards and two scores.

His first true road test as the Seminoles' quarterback will be on Saturday night when Clemson hosts Florida State. Tajh Boyd knows how difficult it can be for a first-year starting quarterback when he goes into a hostile road environment for the first time.

"He handles himself in a more mature way when he steps out on the field," Boyd said. "The thing is it will be different for him here, but we'll see how he handles it. I was in a similar situation and I was a year older as a red shirt sophomore, but going to play in different venues is always fun and always exciting.

"You never really know how it is until you actually step in that arena. I'm anxious to see how he handles it, but the coaches are going to prepare him as best as possible."

For Boyd, his first big road game as the man was a night game in Lane Stadium against Virginia Tech.

"It was a homecoming for me, so walking out there and being a captain for that game and getting booed when they called your name, I just loved it," Boyd said. "I thrived in it. I felt like I was right at home. It's different for everybody. Everybody has different ways that they deal with it. But, for me and how I deal with it, I've usual got to love it and embrace it.

"It'll be something we'll see how it goes. We'll see how he adjusts. I think in a way, for me, after a while it all gets blocked out because all it comes down to is you performing that particular play every time you step on that field."

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