Rookie Card Year: 2015
Investment Rating: 7.5
One of the biggest names heading into the 2015 NFL season, Jameis Winston may not have a pro team yet, but he already has several pre-rookie cards for collectors to chase. Several of the top options are highlighted below, including autographs and memorabilia cards. Jameis Winston rookie cards will be included when they are available.
Exposing him to the masses, Jameis Winston had the ultimate freshman season in 2013. While most use their first year in college to get used to new-found independence, study hard and have a little fun, Winston was busy winning the Heisman Trophy. And if that weren't enough, he led the Florida State Seminoles to a comeback victory in the 2013 BCS title game.
His sophomore effort was not nearly as successful and several off-field controversies did not help. Despite a general decrease in his stats and a one-game suspension, Winston still led the undefeated Seminoles to the inaugural College Football Playoff, where they lost to Oregon in the semifinal game.
Widely expected to go early in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and likely first overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, collectors don't have to wait to start their Jameis Winston collections. In addition to a variety of prospect products that release ahead of the draft, Winston was also included in two sets that will pre-date his official rookie cards by several years.
Key Jameis Winston Pre-Rookie Cards
Jameis Winston's first card isn't from the gridiron. A two-sport standout, he participated in the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic, an event that has Topps as a partner. Similar to AFLAC cards (Rawlings was the new sponsor), Bowman cards were made on the spot. Some were signed and put in the Topps vault for inclusion in products if they went pro. Players were also given cards to keep or hand out. Many of these cards were signed and traded at the event.
It's worth noting that the 2011 Bowman Perfect Game Jameis Winston has not been inserted in packs. Any found on the secondary market come from the event. Collectors should be cautious when buying signed versions.
USA Football is the national governing body of amateur football in the United States and has had a licensing deal with Upper Deck for the last several years. Part of that deal includes the production of an annual trading card set that includes some of the game's top prospects. Jameis Winston is the highlight of 2012 Upper Deck USA Football, the company's first set under the partnership.
The first official Jameis Winston autograph card comes with a sticker signature. A parallel of sorts to the main set, it has the same patriotic design. Each set of 2012 Upper Deck USA Football comes with two autographs. With a checklist of more than 40 cards, it's no easy pull.
2012 Upper Deck USA Football sets also come with five Future Swatch jersey cards and one patch parallel. Featuring a massive piece of game-used material, the vertical design allows for multiple pictures of Winston, including one as a watermark. Besides the regular versions, each relic card has a signed parallel. The base autographed jersey cards are numbered to five, while the autographed patch card has just two copies.
Although they are not signed like previous years, the 2014 Exquisite Collection card for Jameis Winston will still be one of his most popular non-NFL cards. Numbered to 125 and showcasing blue foil on an elegant design, it could end up as a preferred base card for collectors.
Part of a simple, retail-only release, 2015 Leaf Draft features four base cards for Jameis Winston. Gold parallels and printing plates provide additional options. There are also signed versions for each card that are classified as Mega Short Prints.
One of the more popular early-season releases that centers on football prospects, 2015 Leaf Metal Draft brings an all-autograph format and four different signed cards for Jameis Winston. Boasting on-card signatures, a Chrome-ish quality and plenty of colorful Prismatic parallels, Leaf Metal Draft is an appealing option for Jameis Winson collectors.
Part of a more premium release from Leaf, 2015 Ultimate Draft includes several Jameis Winston cards. The main option is found in the base autograph set and includes several versions that can be distinguished by foil color. The most common card is the Jameis Winston bronze autograph, numbered to 40. There is also a limited Ultimate Helmet Die-Cut Autograph for Winston with several foil parallels.
Sage is another brand that caters to the football prospect collectors. Their 2015 Hit Series product features a variety of base and insert options for Jameis Winston, as well as signed versions. Collectors can find signed several version of the main autograph set, including red, black and gold (#/250). There are also limited autograph parallels for the The Write Stuff (#/25) and Artistry (#/100) inserts.
2015 Upper Deck is a popular early-season release and there quite a few Jameis Winston cards to be found in the product. The main two cards are part of the Star Rookie subset. The first is found in the base Star Rookie checklist and the the other card is a hobby short print. In addition to the autographed parallel of the #46 card, there are multiple inserts for Winston, including several signed cards.
The very first cards to feature Jameis Winston in his non-photoshopped Florida State uniform, 2015 Upper Deck Inscriptions caught the attention of collectors with a premium look and a ton of inscriptions. There are four different Winston cards in the all-autograph release, including the base silver, red (#/49), black (#/25) and gold (#/10). Each parallel tier has a different inscription.