During his 34 years as Florida State’s head coach, Bobby Bowden coached two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks in Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke. Interestingly, both were extremely unique for the position. Ward decided to forgo professional football altogether for the NBA. Weinke first played baseball and didn’t win his Heisman until he was almost 30.
Now Bowden’s replacement on the sidelines, Jimbo Fisher, is trotting out another dual-threat star under center in redshirt freshman Jameis Winston.
With Bowden returning to Tallahassee for the first time on Saturday since his retirement in 2010, the Orlando Sentinel asked the all-time winningest FBS coach how he feels watching yet another FSU superstar dominating the ACC.
Question: What do you think of Jameis Winston? Does his talent give him the potential to be the best FSU quarterback ever?
Answer: “Well not only his talent, but his humility. He’s not doing like [Johnny] Manziel. And Manziel, I like him, I love to watch him play. [Winston] gives all the credit to the rest of his team and plus he has statistics to go behind him.”
Bowden went on to say that he cannot even compare Winston – who has jumped to the forefront of the Heisman conversation along with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and A&M’s Johnny Manziel – to his two past Trophy winners.
Q: Who would you compare Winston to?
A: “I don’t have anybody I compare him to. Somebody asked me on a call-in show if I’d compare him to a Charlie Ward or a Chris Weinke. They’re all different. Charlie was 185 pounds and could run like a scarlet dog, he runs better than this guy. But this guy runs in a very positive way. This guy is 6-foot-4, so I don’t see the physical similarity there. Chris Weinke would be more similar, but he didn’t care anything about running that dadgum football. This guy just seems to have it all. I never met him. I’ve heard about him, I watch all their games, but the things he does is just amazing. And it doesn’t just amaze me, it amazes the nation.”
These three players may not be physically comparable, but if Winston continues on his path of dominance, he may join the school’s list of Heisman winners along with Ward and Weinke.