Who Is The Next Jameis Winston?

Who is the next Jameis Winston (i.e. someone who can completely alter the outcome of a game and course of a program)?

According to Auburn wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator Dameyune Craig, the answer is Tigers wide out Duke Williams. During a session with the media, a reporter asked Gus Malzahn about Williams by leading with Craig’s high praise.

Transcription via Saturday Down South:

“(Auburn wide receiver coach) Dameyune (Craig) was saying yesterday that with D’haquille, he is the type of player that he’s compared to Jameis Winston in the sense that he could be a game-changer for the program.”

Craig’s assessment may seem like a homer pick, but step back for a second and realize that he recruited Winston from the state of Alabama to FSU, and then later brought Williams into Auburn. If there’s one person who understands the game-changing potential of both players, it’s Craig.

It also might seem a stretch comparing a wideout’s game-changing ability to a quarterback who touches the ball every snap (and especially one that just notched one of the greatest freshman seasons in college football history). However, some of the most recent dynasties in college football had non-QB playmakers who could change tempo and blow the doors off of opponents. Tim Tebow was Florida’s backbone, but Percy Harvin was its accelerator, and the Gators were a markedly different team when he was healthy. The same can be said for Reggie Bush at USC. They were “once in a lifetime” players who took their teams to another strata.

As for Malzahn, he too likes what he’s seen out of the juco transfer.

“The thing that stood out to me is that he has given tremendous effort,” said Malzahn. “He wants to be good, he wants to be coached.”

With WR Sammie Coates stretching the field on the outside and QB Nick Marshall slinging the football around, Williams will have no shortage of attempts to prove his position coach correct. And, more importantly, no shortage of attempts to take Auburn to the mountaintop it fell just short of last season … at the golden arm of Jameis Winston.