Though they’ve never dueled in college, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas will have a rematch Saturday when the two teams play for the ACC Championship.
That’s because, according to ESPN.com’s David Hale, the two duked it out in an Alabama youth football league in 2005. I’ll repeat that: The two quarterbacks were 11 in 2005. Don’t you feel like a dinosaur now?
Hale’s piece is a wonderfully written recap of the 2005 Turkey Bowl, where the Pop Warner teams faced off and played for much smaller stakes than are on the line Saturday night in Charlotte. Back then, Thomas was the stud quarterback who all the kids feared playing against, and Winston was the unknown.
Now, Winston is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and Thomas certainly isn’t a slouch, either – he’ll be expected to command the Yellow Jackets’ offense if they’re going to pull off the upset Saturday night.
Winston and his team from Hoover won Turkey Bowl ’05. Thomas scored his team’s only touchdown before leaving the game with cramps, which I didn’t even know happened to kids in youth football games.
One of my favorite nuggets in the story: Thomas’ team was the Seminoles, who wore the same color scheme as Florida State’s football team. This time, he’ll be trying to beat the Seminoles and end their 28-game winning streak.
We’ll see who wins the rematch Saturday night, in a game that’s guaranteed to be anything but little-league.
Hale’s full story is here, and I encourage you to go read it. There were several players on those two teams who went on to play college sports – not just Winston and Thomas.