Scout.com five-star quarterback Jameis Winston, who committed to Florida State on Aug. 3, got off to a slow start against Thomasville in a preseason game on Friday by throwing three interceptions in the first half, but he came back with four rushing scores and another through the air as Hueytown pulled out a 36-27 victory.
"I turned the ball over," Winston explained, "and you can't do that. Especially being a good quarterback, you can't do that. All of my turnovers were on scrambling plays. I underthrew a couple of them and it was a bad night overall, but my team put me on their backs and they carried me over the adversity and everything."
Hueytown plays in Alabama 5A, while Thomasville is the defending 4A state champions. Getting the victory, Winston says, is the only positive he can take from his performance on Friday.
"That's that only thing that I did good, was that I got the win," he said. "I didn't get down. My team put me on their back, and they carried on. I feel pretty good because we just beat the defending state champions."
Winston was playing against a talented defense, and his receivers were suffering a case of the drops throughout the night. He rushed for more than 100 yards, mostly on his own by making defenders miss.
Winston nearly had another pair of touchdown throws to Cameron Broadnax, a receiver who is being recruited to colleges after sitting out last year. He played as a sophomore at Homewood. Broadnax was called for pushing off on a would-be touchdown on a fade route. He also appeared to have two feet in bounds and possession after beating the defender for the ball in the corner, but he was ruled out of bounds.
"Let me tell you something about Cam," Winston said of his receiver. "Cam went a whole year, and he didn't even play. For him to just go out there and show himself and get a couple of catches, he might have been a little nervous, but he had just those two drops. He sat out a whole year just to play this year. It doesn't matter what kind of night he had. He can definitely play."
The star defender of the night was Hueytown's undersized defensive lineman, Chris Rabb, who is listed at 5-11 and 220 pounds. Thomasville's Tyler Hayes, an Alabama commitment, made several athletic plays, including a pair of sacks on Winston, but Rabb had six tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, a sack and a safety.
"Chris Rabb should be the No. 1 defensive player in the country. He's just a little undersized," Winston noted. "He definitely deserves to play big-time college football. He's just a little undersized."
Winston hasn't publicly commented much about his commitment to the Seminoles, as he chose them over Alabama.
Asked how things have changed for him, Winston responded: "It's not that different. I plan on focusing on high school football and getting a state championship."
Winston became the fourth FSU commitment for the class of 2012 from the state of Alabama, joining Chris Casher of Davidson (a recent transfer from Faith Academy), Alphonse Taylor from Davidson and Justin Shanks from Prattville.
"I communicate with them a little bit," Winston said of the fellow commitments from Alabama. "It didn't affect me, though."
Winston says the biggest factor in choosing Florida State was that "it's just a great school."
Winston is also a talented switch-hitter on the baseball diamond and definitely has the skills to play college baseball. Unfortunately for the 'Noles, he may be good enough to be a high pick in the Major League Baseball draft.
"It was just the baseball/football situation, and I felt comfortable," Winston added. "It's a big part because I love baseball as much as I love football."
Click the link below to watch highlights of Winston versus Thomasville: