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Bo knows two-sport success, imparts wisdom on Jameis

Bo Jackson

One of the few people on the planet who can truly understand the athlete portion of the Jameis Winston phenomenon is Bo Jackson.

Jackson was a two-sport star at Auburn before playing both football and baseball professionally.  Winston appears to be headed down that same path, splitting his time this spring between the reigning BCS champ Florida State football team and the top-ranked Seminole baseball team.

Add in the fact that both won Heismans and both were born in Bessemer, Ala., and it’s reasonable for people to connect the dots between the two.  In that vein, Jackson, who was in attendance at the Tigers’ spring game over the weekend, was asked what advice he would give the FSU quarterback regarding the two-sport challenge both have tackled.

“People tried to tell me ‘Well, he shouldn’t do this,’ and it wouldn’t be right for me to say what he should do or shouldn’t do,” Jackson said according to al.com‘s Brandon Marcello. “I think he should follow his heart. He should experience success or failure on his own. I think he’s man enough to do that and admit either way.

“I just wish him luck. He’s from my hometown, so he’s a homeboy. I wish him luck.”

Jackson does, though, offer a word of warning amidst the encouragement.

When Bo was doing his two-sport thing, he was a running back in football and an outfielder in the stick-and-ball game.  Winston, on the other hand, is a quarterback and, along with being  a designated hitter, a relief pitcher.  With so much reliance placed on his arm, Winston may have to look elsewhere position-wise if he wants to try both sports professionally.

“If he thinks he can do it, then so be it — on the college level,” Jackson said. “But trying to take it to the next level, it’s going to be a little difficult because the talent pool on both sides. Plus he’s going to make his living with his arm and I think if I was Jameis I would follow my heart because I did the same thing.”

For his part, Winston has openly acknowledged wanting to tackle both sports professionally.

That is my dream,” Winston said back in February when asked about twin futures in the NFL and MLB, “whether it’s me being a closer or me being a hitter. But I know I want to be an NFL quarterback.

“Obviously, it would be a tremendous honor to follow in the footsteps of the Bo Jacksons and the Deion Sanders to play both sports professionally. That’s just something that I have to worry about when it comes.”

Jackson says Winston should follow his heart; Winston, though, may want to follow his wallet to find the path of least resistance, at least on his body.

(Photo credit: Sports Illustrated)

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9 Responses to “Bo knows two-sport success, imparts wisdom on Jameis”
  1. cjnbsc says: Apr 21, 2014 9:11 AM

    Bo knows. He’s right. I think playing both sports is very feasible. But pitching and playing QB is way too much wear on his arm. Trying both will likely mean short careers as it did for Bo

  2. mcjon22 says: Apr 21, 2014 9:31 AM

    The reality is that no NFL GM or head coach is going to let their starting QB play another sport. The QB has to put in the most work, be at every OTA, off-season workout and practice. And there’s absolutely no way they would let him miss a day of training camp or a single practice during the season.

    And on the flip side, what MLB team, regardless of how talented he is, will want a guy on their roster who will basically be leaving the team every season at the end of July?

    Maybe if he played another position outside of QB this would be feasible. But being an NFL QB will make it impossible for him to play both sports.

  3. joeyashwi says: Apr 21, 2014 11:03 AM

    Winston is not even close to being in the same class of athlete that Jackson was. Just because he plays two sports doesn’t make him Bo Jackson.

  4. donovandancy says: Apr 21, 2014 11:48 AM

    Lol, yeah, and which sport does Joey think Winston is worse at? The one he won a heisman in at a tougher position than running back, or the sport he was already a top prospect in at a harder position than “outfielder”?

  5. gatorfan1 says: Apr 21, 2014 1:13 PM

    I don’t think we are giving Winston enough credit, if you count raping, he’s actually a 3-sport star.

    Bo knows that!

  6. donovandancy says: Apr 21, 2014 2:48 PM

    While gator fan just knows what 4-8 feels like.

  7. jimbo75025 says: Apr 21, 2014 4:03 PM

    Bo was a freak of nature in both sports. When he was up to bat or the Raiders had the ball you had to stop and watch. I remember one time the pitcher tried to intentional walk him but Bo still swung and drove the ball to the warning track.

  8. 8to80texansblog says: Apr 21, 2014 4:55 PM

    Wow… C’mon FSU fan… please don’t tell me you really think Winston is the same caliber of athlete as Bo Jackson.

    Bo Jackson might be the greatest athlete in 50 years….

    Time to take off those Garnett colored glasses.

  9. kappy32 says: Apr 22, 2014 3:01 AM

    The “stick and ball” game? Listen, I love football, it is my first love. However, I played baseball, too, and it is much more than just a “stick and ball” game. The hardest thing to do in all sports is to hit a small, round ball coming at you upwards of 85-95 MPH with a thin, round bat. If you think I’m wrong, then a implore you to try it. Hitting a baseball with any consistency is harder than anything you have to do in football. That is the main reason why you are considered successful in baseball when you fail 7 out of 10 times, and considered a legend if you fail only 6 out of 10 times. What would we think of a QB who completed only 3 of every 10 passes? We would think he’s garbage, on to the next. That’s not the case in baseball. It is so much more than just a stick & ball game, bro. So much more.

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