Winston humbled by Heisman talk, awards attention
The first time Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston ever
thought about winning the Heisman Trophy, he was a 12-year-old kid
playing video games.
”Playing NCAA 2006 was the first time I was aware of the
Heisman,” he said Wednesday. ”When you could create a player and
do the `Road to Glory’ and you could get the Heisman.”
Now that road could end with him holding the real thing, and
several other big awards.
Winston is the overwhelming favorite to win the award now that a
sexual assault complaint against him in Tallahassee has been closed
without charges being filed.
Winston enters Thursday’s College Football Awards Show at Disney
nominated for two of the night’s top awards – the Maxwell Award for
the nation’s top player and the Davey O’Brien quarterback award. He
joins Texas A&M quarterback and reigning Heisman winner Johnny
Manziel, as well as Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, who are both
nominated for the same awards.
The now 19-year-old Winston described the week since Florida
State secured its spot in the BCS national championship game as a
whirlwind. But he said he goes into college football’s version of
awards season humbled even as a huge Heisman favorite.
”Obviously, all the Heisman stuff, I really admire the people
that have voted for me and all that stuff, Winston said. ”So, like
I said, it’s overwhelming to me.”
Should Winston claim the Heisman, it would be the second
consecutive year that the award went to a freshman.
Though that would also mean his name isn’t called, McCarron said
it would be a feat that would be derided by the fifth-year senior,
who just missed a shot at leading Alabama to a third consecutive
”It doesn’t make me feel any way. I’m happy for those guys,”
he said. ”Johnny’s one of my good friends. Jameis, I’d be happy
for him, too. I don’t have any hatred against anybody, or against
the Heisman committee or whoever votes on it. They’re going to vote
how they’re going to vote.
”I’m happy, and like I said I go home at night and I can pull
out my three national championship rings and smile pretty big and
be pretty happy. I don’t need an individual award to tell me what
Still, he said the invitation to New York, which will be his
first trip to New York, is something he will savor.
”Of course it made me feel good. I kind of smiled, proved a lot
of people wrong. But I also feel like I earned it and I deserve
it,” McCarron said. ”I think if you look at…the three years of
me starting, I’d put my numbers up (against) anybody in the
country…What, 13 interceptions my whole three years starting? I
mean, a lot of guys throw that in one year. I feel like I’ve taken
care of the ball, I’ve done all the right things on and off the
”So if the award goes by their mission statement, I feel like I
fit it pretty well.”
Wednesday’s was also a lot more low key this time around for
Manziel, who had his hopes of a Heisman repeat clouded by less than
stellar performances late in the year and four losses by the
Though he’s granted a vote this year as a Heisman winner,
Manziel said he was ”going to follow the Heisman Trust” and not
reveal his vote. But he said he didn’t vote for himself in first or
”It’s a possibility,” Manziel said of the chances of seeing
consecutive freshmen win. ”I guess we’ll find out on Saturday. But
it’s crazy to have that long of a barrier and then potentially we
could have two back-to-back. So definitely a neat deal,
While there is lots of intrigue about whether he could enter the
NFL draft after the season ends, Manziel said he will take time
after the season to discuss it with his mentors and coaches.
But he said he likes his readiness.
”In my mind, I feel like I’m playing for the most part at a
high level,” he said. ”I’m putting the ball where I want it to
be, and I’m throwing it with a lot of velocity. So in my mind, I
think I am.”
As for Winston, he said he hasn’t started to envision holding
the Heisman at the end of the week.
”It would be an honor, man,” Winston said. ”If that happens,
just to look in the stands and see my family, and see my coach, and
say `Hey, I made you happy. I made your proud.’ It’s not really for
me. It’s for my family and my teammates.
”My teammates, they’re going to like that, because my teammates
want me to get it and my family, of course they want me to get it.
So it’s more about them than me.”
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