A few hours from now, one of the nation’s top Quarterback prospects will announce whether he will sign with the University of Alabama or Florida State University. Large numbers of one fanbase will celebrate with cheers and champagne. The others will wail, gnash their teeth and kick puppies all afternoon.
I’ll be doing neither.
Jameis Winston is a fine, fine prospect. His athletic talents are unquestionable and he’s going to make a great baseball player. Winston is projected to go anywhere between the first and third rounds in the upcoming Major League Baseball Draft. He would then get a contract offer somewhere between $750,000 to $1.25 million and if I were him, I’d be gone like yesterday.
Why not? If MLB doesn’t work out or Winston gets stuck in one of the dumpster fire programs in the league, he can come back and give football another try. It’s a risk free decision from a financial perspective. Why walk away from a six- to seven-figure deal to play college football for free?
Furthermore, as a Bama fan, I think Saban et al still have a legitimate shot at Gunner Kiehl, even though he says he’s committed to Indiana. There’s an intervening football season between now and NSD 2012, and once prospects see the quality of the product Alabama will put on the field this season, minds might change.
Even if they don’t change and Alabama doesn’t sign a top-drawer Quarterback in the 2012 draft, the cupboard ain’t exactly bare. McCarron and Simms are gifted, smart football players in a system that doesn’t rely on the Quarterback to win games for you. One of the two will likely emerge as the starter early on in the season, if not by the end of fall camp. That guy will probably be Bama’s starting Quarterback for at least two more years, barring injury. And if the starter does go down, the backup is only a hair’s breadth away from him, talent-wise. And Oh, yeah. There’s this other kid named Philip Ely who’s supposed to be not-so-bad, too. Bama is fine at Quarterback.
I wish Mr. Winston all the luck in his upcoming baseball career and if it doesn’t work out, I’m sure the Bama staff will make room for him.