The college football world probably didn’t need a reminder, but Jameis Winston gave one anyway.
A few hours before Florida State kicked off against North Carolina State, Winston made his way onto the field and, at no one in particular, yelled “I’m back.”
Back and as good as ever.
One week after serving as a cheerleader in FSU’s overtime win against Clemson — the product of a one-game suspension for yelling an obscene phrase on campus — Winston returned to the FSU lineup and posted one of the finest performances of his career in a 56-41 win over the Wolfpack.
“To have the opportunity to play this game of football, get it taken away from you, and come back, that’s a special feeling,” Winston said.
Winston did plenty of damage with his arm, throwing for 365 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions while becoming the first FSU quarterback to top 300 passing yards at N.C. State.
He also added a 20-yard scramble late in the fourth quarter that effectively sealed the game.
“He’s Jameis,” senior running back Karlos Williams said. “It’s a different energy when he has those pads on and he’s ready to go play.
“[Backup] Sean [Maguire] played a great game last week, but having Jameis back is a totally different thing.”
Christian Green’s first career touchdown might not have brought the smile back to his face. But maybe it at least provided a bright spot on a difficult day.
Green, a fifth-year senior receiver from Tampa, found out Saturday morning that his grandfather, Ernest Green Sr., had passed away.
Before the Seminoles took on N.C. State later that night, Green’s quarterback pulled him aside and made a promise.
“I went to Christian after chapel and I said, ‘Christian, we’re going to do this for your granddad,’” Winston said. “He said, ‘Nah, I’ll just play.’
“I said, ‘Christian, I’m going to get you [a touchdown]. Be ready for it.’”
Green made an outstanding catch for a 22-yard catch in the corner of N.C. State’s one-yard line. He then fell into the the end zone for the score.
“Is that not special?” Winston said. “That should be the story of the day.”
Jesus Wilson and Dalvin Cook used to square off on the high school field, with Cook’s Miami Central Rockets twice getting the best of Wilson’s Columbus Explorers.
Saturday, the Miami natives each posted the best games of their collegiate careers.
Wilson, a 5-9, 177-pound receiver posted career-bests in receptions (six) and yards (109) and caught touchdown passes of 32 and 15 yards.
Cook, meanwhile, made the most of his opportunities by turning six carries into 45 yards that included a 19-yard scoring run and a 35-yard scamper down the sideline.
“They were good games [in high school],” Wilson said. “I’m happy that [Cook] scored, I’m happy for him.”
Senior receiver Rashad Greene continued his climb up the FSU record book and stopped for a few milestones along the way.
Greene, a former start at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, reached 200 catches, 3,000 receiving yards and 25 touchdown catches as part of an 11-catch, 125-yard effort on Saturday.