Statistically speaking, Monday night’s BCS Championship Game was not the finest of the year for Florida State Heisman Trophy quarterback Jameis Winston. Fortunately for the Seminoles, there is only one stat that matters; the final score. Winston struggled at times in the first half but at the end of the night head coach Jimbo Fisher was calling it the bets game of the year for his freshman quarterback.
“That’s the best football game he played all year and I’ll tell you why,” Fisher said in his post game press conference. “For three quarters, he was up and down, and he fought and he fought. It’s just like any great player, some nights you don’t have it. When you can go back… and you can take your team down the field and lead them to victory, that’s what a great player is to me.”
Winston completed 20 of 35 pass attempts for 237 yards and two touchdowns. The stat line lacks big numbers but it does not represent the importance of the numbers that are in the box score. Both of Winston’s touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter, the first bringing Florida State to within one point and the second proving to be the championship-clinching score in the final seconds of the season. Winston’s final two offensive drives of the season ended with those touchdowns, showing a clutch factor when his team needed it most.
It was a slow start for Winston and Florida State. The Noles were forced to punt on three of their first four possessions of the game. Winston struggled to find a rhythm and his swagger that had been common throughout the season. Celebrating his birthday in the biggest game of his life, Winston admitted to having some butterflies in the Rose Bowl and needing to calm down. Once he did, he hit that familiar high gear to lead Florida State back from a 21-3 deficit in the second quarter to a BCS championship.
The college football world could only imagine what Winston will have to offer for an encore in 2014.
Auburn could be the beneficiary of an offensive transfer in the not-too-distant future, but the football program has apparently sustained a loss on the other side of the ball.
In a tweet posted to his personal Twitter account Sunday, Justin Thomas-Thornton revealed that he will be “pursuing my collegiate football and academic endeavors elsewhere.” The defensive lineman gave no reason for his decision to leave The Plains.
Thomas-Thornton, a four-star 2014 signee, played in the 2015 opener against Louisville, but didn’t see any other action the remainder of the year.
If Thomas-Thornton opts for another FBS program, he will be forced to sit out the 2016 season. He’d then be left with two seasons of eligibility that he’d be able to use beginning in 2017.
Finally, a personnel attrition post on this late-June Sunday that doesn’t involve Baylor.
In mid-May, wide receiver Ryan Sousa announced via Twitter that he had decided to transfer out of the Florida football program, and ultimately landed at FCS Southern Illinois. A little over six weeks later, a fellow Gator receiver has apparently made a similar decision, with Scout.com reporting that Alvin Bailey will leave Jim McElwain‘s squad.
No reason was given for the receiver’s decision, although the recruiting website has an idea as to why.
The Gators added five receivers in the 2016 recruiting class, three of which were on campus in the spring. Junior college transfer Dre Massey seemed to pull ahead of Bailey in the month long practices held between March and April.
The school has declined to address Bailey’s status with the football program.
Bailey was a four-star member of UF’s 2013 recruiting class, rated as the No. 22 receiver in the country. The production never quite matched the recruiting pedigree, though, with Bailey catching three passes for 49 years in his career in Gainesville. All of those stats came during the 2015 season.
Yep, another post revolving around a now-former Baylor football player.
One of five 2016 BU signees to receive a release from their National Letter of Intent, Kameron Martin took his first visit to a potential destination with a trip to Auburn Friday. In short order, he will take a visit to TCU as well.
“Probably Tuesday,” the running back told al.com, he will make a decision between the Tigers and Horned Frogs.
“(TCU) said I can be an impact player right away,” Martin told the website. “Auburn showed me a lot of love and treated me like family. That’s kind of what I like. I want to go somewhere where they treat me like family. … Auburn was about business, so we’ll see if TCU can show me a good time.”
A four-star 2016 signee according to 247Sports.com, the 5-10, 178-pound Johnson was rated as the No. 7 all-purpose back in the country; the No. 39 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 268 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.
As is the case with other 2016 Bears signees who have fled Waco, Johnson will be eligible to play immediately in 2016 whether he lands at Auburn or TCU.
“Baylor Attrition Day” here at CFT continues, although this one has nothing to do with a 2016 signee.
According to a report from Rivals.com affiliate SicEmSports, Chris Johnson has decided to leave Baylor and transfer into the Houston football program. The same website is reporting that the Bears gave the erstwhile quarterback a release from his scholarship.
Johnson will be graduating from BU this summer, thus making himself immediately eligible to play for the Cougars in 2016. Not only that, but he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Thanks to a rash of injuries at the position, Johnson started two games for the Bears at quarterback in 2015 before he too sustained an injury. He returned to start BU’s bowl win over North Carolina, but changed positions this spring and was listed as a wide receiver/tight end on his official BU profile. At least in the beginning, he’s expected to continue in a receiving role with the Cougars.