Jameis Winston redshirted in 2012, meaning that after his 2014 sophomore season, his three-year wait will be over. He will be eligible to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. And with Winston the early front-runner to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in that draft -- and a bet-the-mortgage lock to go in the top 10 -- it would require the rosiest glasses imaginable to see him returning for a junior season in Tallahassee.
Apparently Jimbo Fisher owns just such a pair of glasses.
"Everybody says he's going to stay one year and leave," Fisher said at his Signing Day news conference, according to Noles 247. "Which I don't think that's true. I think it will be two."
It's not a coincidence that Fisher mentioned this belief on Signing Day, in the wake of the Seminoles adding five-star receivers Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph -- players who Fisher admitted had chosen Florida State, in part, to play alongside the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
"I thought Jameis did a great job in helping us recruit those guys," Fisher said.
Those cases illustrate that Fisher's interest is vested in more places than just Winston's incredible on-field value; the longer Winston stays with the Noles, the longer Fisher and his staff can offer recruits the chance to catch passes and take handoffs from arguably the best player in college football.
The chances Winston actually follows through on his coach's prediction and stays four years in Tallahassee are, of course, minimal -- and that's being exceedingly charitable. But given what it would mean to his program, it's hard to fault Fisher for being what we'll call cautiously optimistic.