There’s still a quarterback scramble at Florida State and freshman Jameis Winston put himself right in the middle of it Saturday.
Winston threw a long touchdown pass on his first play at Florida State’s spring game, and the redshirt freshman finished 12-for-15 for 205 yards and two scores.
Clint Trickett, also competing to be the starting quarterback, completed 22-of-32 for 259 yards and touchdown while playing on both teams as the Gold team, comprised mainly of reserves, defeated the Garnet 40-24.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, however, wasn’t ready to make any immediate changes on his depth chart among the four players aspiring to replace EJ Manuel at the controls of the Seminoles’ offense.
“The quarterbacks all have their talents,” Fisher said. “Let’s be careful and let him (Winston) play. He’s going to be a good player and hopefully he’ll be a great player.”
Winston, who bolted from the locker room to join his baseball teammates for a Saturday doubleheader against Duke, went right after the team’s most dependable cornerback, on a perfectly thrown 58-yard touchdown pass to David Tyrrell that tied the score 7-7.
“He hit it right on the money,” Fisher said. “He stepped up and played very nicely. He took advantage of the opportunities he had today.”
Winston burned veteran defensive back Lamarcus Joyner on the touchdown bomb to Tyrrell.
“I was lollygagging,” said Joyner, a first-team all-conference pick last season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. “He knew it.”
Winston, one of the nation’s most highly recruited prep quarterbacks a years ago, hit 8 of 10 passes for 140 yards in the second quarter to stake the Garnet to a 17-10 halftime lead.
“It was fun,” Winston said. My offensive line, they were like, ‘let’s go Jameis, let’s do it,’”
His older teammates see Winston daily at practice, but were still impressed with his debut before about 25,000 Seminole fans.
“It was exciting for everyone else on the team to see that young guy go out there and do what he did,” said Rashad Greene, who caught 11 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown.
Kenny Shaw caught 12 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown on an 18-yard throw from Sean McGruie and Roberto Aguayo kicked five field goals, including one from 58 yards.
P.J. Williams 35-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:36 left gave the Gold a 37-24 lead over the Garnet team.
“You have to have a short memory,” said Williams, who was beat by Greene on a 20-yard touchdown throw from Winston. “You have to be able to bounce back real fast.”
Jacob Coker completed 15 of 26 for 186 yards and a 15-yard touchdown pass to Will Burnham for the game’s first score, but also was intercepted twice in the second half.
McGuire connected on 6 of 13 throws for 113 yards.
Trickett, penciled in as No. 1 going into the spring, Winston, Coker and McGuire will resume their battle for the starting role when preseason drills begin in August.
Florida State opens its season Sept. 1 at Pittsburgh.