Jameis Winston went 25-of-27 for 356 yards and four passing touchdowns at Pitt. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Did Texas actually whiff in recruiting Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston?
That was the narrative on social media for much of Winston's opening performance against Pitt on Monday night. Winston, who went 25-of-27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns in his debut, reportedly grew up a Texas fan and hoped to play eventually for the Longhorns. But Winston never received an offer from Texas, according to what the quarterback told ESPN's Brett McMurphy.
"I'm an OU fan but I always wanted to go to Texas. If I'd gotten offer from Texas I'd be going to Texas right now."
According to CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman, Texas said they did contact Winston's coach at Hueytown (Ala.) High, Matt Scott, but that the team did not believe Winston was legitimately interested in the Longhorns. Feldman spoke to Scott on Monday night, and the coach maintained that efforts were made to put Winston in contact with Texas.
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Scott told Feldman that he called Texas' football office "four or five times" during Winston's recruitment period, even speaking with a woman in the athletic department and trying to sell Winston's talent and interest. But, Scott said, neither he nor Winston ever heard from the Longhorns or head coach Mack Brown.
"I can tell you this: They didn't call me, and I was on the front line," Scott said. "His dad made it clear he wanted Jameis and I to handle it. I can promise you, they didn't call me and I called them multiple times. And it's hard for me to believe that one of the nation's top programs is gonna concede, 'Well, we're not going to get this guy.'"
Scott said that if Texas had shown interest, it would have been in Winston's "top two or three [destinations] for sure." The coach said Winston eventually decided on Florida State because the school would allow him to play both football and baseball. Winston was a highly touted baseball prospect as well.