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The Latest Out Of Tallahassee That You Won't See In The News....


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Yeah....it's been a cluster **** to say the least in Tallahassee. No, one good deed doesn't make up for all of the other crap that's happened, but let's give credit where credit is due. The media isn't about to air this story as it doesn't add fuel to the fire.


FSU players lift spirits of young fan

Corey Clark, Tallahassee Democrat 11:21 a.m. EST November 26, 2014

When 17-year-old Jayse Simpson arrived at Wolfson Children's hospital in Jacksonville on Monday he didn't know if he'd be heading back home to Perry later that day. Or having another heart procedure. He had prepared himself mentally for both. As had his mom, Deidra Newman.

What neither was prepared for, what left them both in momentary shock, was when Jayse answered a FaceTime call that morning from an 850 area code. And staring back at him was Jameis Winston.

"He gasped," Deidra said of her son, a lifelong Florida State fan. "He couldn't believe that Jameis actually called him."

A little backstory before we return to Jayse's Heisman moment.

He was born in Hawaii with a rare defect in which the two main arteries leaving his heart were reversed. After being delivered he had to immediately be airlifted to a hospital in San Diego so doctors could operate. Since then he's had three open-heart surgeries and many other procedures, Deidra said.

The first 17 years of Jayse's life haven't been easy. But for a kid that's been fighting since the day he was born it should come as no surprise that he's been able to excel anyway.

Jayse has a 4.0 grade-point average. He tutors other students. He was the captain of his teen flag football team. He's had so many hours of community service that they are "too many to count at this point." And he was named a homecoming prince at his high school.

He's a normal (albeit high-achieving) teenager who does normal teenager things. With two exceptions: He is a fanatic when it comes to Florida State football. And every so often he has to go to the hospital to get what he calls his "plumbing" fixed.

In this instance there was a little more concern than normal. Jayse hadn't been feeling well over the last few weeks and his doctors wanted to put him through a battery of tests to see what the next step would be. Would he need a pacemaker? Would a heart valve have to be replaced? If an immediate operation was necessary would his father, an FSU alum and Navy helicopter pilot stationed in Europe, be able to get to Jacksonville in time? Would there be needles involved? If you know Jayse, you know how he feels about needles.

All of this was weighing on the 17-year-old's mind on Monday. Heavily.

Until the phone rang.

Again and again and again.

Every time Jayse answered a FaceTime call it was another Florida State football player on the other end. They were calling to offer him support, to tell him they were thinking about him.

"Each and every player called at just the right time and had just the right words," Deidra wrote in a Facebook post.

There was All-American kicker Roberto Aguayo. And senior offensive linemen Cameron Erving and Josue Matias.

Jayse's favorite player, sophomore receiver Bobo Wilson, also called.

"He was speechless when Bobo called," Deidra said. "He was shocked. We all were."

And then the most famous college football player in America appeared on Jayse's phone.

"Oh, heyyyyyyyy," Jayse said when he saw Winston staring back at him.

After a few moments the high-schooler then said to the Heisman winner: "I can't believe you called me."

Neither could Deidra, who said it was FSU assistant strength coach Amos Benjamin who told the players about Jayse's situation.

"They took time out of their day, out of their week – this week that means the most to Florida State football," Deidra said. "They told him to be strong. And that he was going to get through it no matter what. Just the fact that they took time out of their day to call a kid they didn't know, it was just really cool.

"And it was another and another and another. They made sure they stayed with him that day."

As it turned out, the results on Monday were (relatively) good for Jayse. He was able to go back home after the tests. And he will have his next heart procedure on the originally scheduled date of Dec. 4 or Dec. 5.

"Which means he'll be able to go to the Florida-Florida State game," Deidra said.

It needs to be mentioned right here, right now.

Nobody at Florida State has any clue I'm writing this story. Nobody in the sports information department alerted me to the FaceTime calls. And none of the players mentioned them to me. Nobody from FSU was looking for any sort of publicity for this.

I found out about them from someone who saw it on Deidra's Facebook page.

And I wanted to share it.

Because these stories so rarely are.

For the last year the Florida State program has been beaten up and besieged with negative publicity. Some of it warranted. Some of it not. But as a result the rest of the country thinks FSU players are lawless, selfish renegades who can do nothing wrong on the football field and nothing right off of it.

The rest of the country wasn't in that hospital room on Monday.

"It more than lifted his spirits," Deidra said. "It completely changed a day that was absolutely stressful to absolutely exciting. There are no words to describe that. I couldn't even come up with the words to describe how much it meant. It makes me speechless."

This is when her voice catches with emotion. It's just for a moment. And it happens when she's talking about, of all things, Jayse's fear of needles.

"With all of the worries he could possibly have," she said with a small laugh. "And to see your child sitting there, completely forgetting the needle is even there, talking to the players he loves more than life itself. I just can't … I just can't thank the players enough for what they did for my child.

"It was just incredible."

And it came on the perfect week.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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