Top quarterback Jameis Winston chooses Florida St

JAY REEVES Associated Press Published:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- One of the nation's top high school quarterbacks is bound for Florida State.

Hueytown's Jameis Winston signed to play for the Seminoles on Friday at an indoor sports complex in Birmingham before teammates, family, friends and a handful of Florida State fans.

"I'm ready to get this started," Winston said.

ESPN and Rivals.com both rate Winston as the nation's top quarterback and among the 15 best overall prospects. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound dual threat quarterback was MVP of the UnderArmour All-American Game after going 8-of-9 passing for 178 yards and two touchdowns.

He committed to the Seminoles in August but was at an all-star game on signing day and waited to make it official. Winston's decision is a big boost for a Florida State class that ESPNU had already rated No. 2 nationally behind Alabama, which also heavily pursued Winston.

He said that getting admitted to Stanford was an honor that made him think, but "it's been decided for a while" that he would go to Florida State.

Winston is also an outfielder and pitcher who could be a high draft pick in pro baseball. Baseball America rates him as the No. 64 prospect in the upcoming draft.

"I want to be in the top round," Winston said. He wouldn't say whether he would still go to Florida State if he were drafted that high.

Being able to play both sports in college was a deciding factor for him. "If I wasn't going to be able to play baseball, I wasn't going to go to that school," Winston said.

Winston passed for 2,424 yards, ran for 1,065 and accounted for 44 touchdowns as a senior. He was second behind Alabama signee T.J. Yeldon in the voting for Alabama's Mr. Football.

Hueytown coach Matt Scott said Winston's "phenomenal" football knowledge and competitiveness set him apart.

"He's the most vicious player on Friday night I've ever been around," Scott said.