High School: Hueytown (AL)
Ht/Wt: 6'4, 190
About the Player: A player evaluation from Chad Simmons:
"There are many more strengths that could be added to Winston's scouting report because he has a lot of tools you like in a QB. Number one, he is a leader. The players listen to him, he leads them, and he has a lot of poise. He also has good arm strength, nice pocket presence and he makes both quick and good decisions. His legs are a weapon, as well. He can still improve his accuracy. He can be a streaky thrower."
And from Scott Kennedy from the Elite 11:
"Winston is the total package at quarterback. He has great size and an elastic arm that generates good velocity without having to put forth a lot of effort. Some players have to muscle up on a ball to try and hit the deeper routes. Winston makes it look effortless, and his accuracy benefits. He throws an easy, catchable ball, even when he's got extra zip on it, because it's always hitting the receivers in stride."
How he fits at FSU: Florida State has landed five-star players at virtually every position the last two years. Those players are: running back James Wilder, wide receiver Christian Green, offensive lineman Bobby Hart, defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, defensive ends Tank Carradine, Mario Edwards and Dante Fowler, linebacker Jeff Luc, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and safety Karlos Williams. But there has been no QB to join the fold until now.
Winston will enter FSU as one of the highest rated QBs in its prestigious history. He is a winner (11-2 as a junior) and seems to have the perfect skill set for Jimbo Fisher's offense. He should have one year to learn from E.J. Manuel, a player that has similar tools. But the starting job will not just be given to him. He will need to beat out Clint Trickett, Jacob Coker and classmate Sean Maguire. Each of those QBs was selected for a reason, and the competition should make each a better QB down the road.
The wide receiver corps is deep and talented, the running back stable is elite and there are weapons at tight end, including pass-catching threat Nick O'Leary. Winston will be in a position to succeed at FSU.
Fisher is developing a reputation as a developer or QBs, and it is hard to see Winston not fulfilling his enormous potential at FSU.
Concerns: Absolutely none on the field. He has everything that you look for in a QB prospect. From a recruiting standpoint, he was targeted by FSU early in the process and should be considered a very solid commitment.
However, there is some risk here because he is considered a very intriguing baseball prospect. Should he be selected high in next year's draft it could be difficult to turn down the money. At the same time, he easily could play both sports at FSU -- at least early in his career. Only time will tell, but it is something to watch closely going forward. It is also why Maguire is such an important part of this class.