He won a Heisman -- and a National Championship -- as a Freshman (RS). He won 26 consecutive games, and as a starting quarterback went 26-1, with the sole loss coming to Oregon in last week's Rose Bowl. Now Jameis Winston is leaving Florida State University to take his shot at NFL stardom.
As a Freshman, Winston compiled impressive stats in 2013 (4,057 yards, 40 TD, 10 INT, and 4 Rushing TD), on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. He led the Seminoles to their first NCAA Championship in more than a decade, and led the ACC in multiple offensive statistical categories.
2014 was a different story. Winston was embroiled in multiple controversies ranging from a sexual assault allegation to a shoplifting arrest to questions of his mental maturity. For the latter, Winston was reprimanded for publicly making profane and insensitive comments, leading to his benching against Clemson in late September. While Florida State enjoyed much success in 2014, including another ACC Championship, Winston's struggled at times, posting 18 interceptions (2nd worst in FBS) while only throwing for 25 touchdowns.
The 21-year old Winston enters the NFL draft as the 3rd ranked draft prospect according to NFLDraftScout.com, and second-best quarterback behind Oregon's Marcus Mariota.
Jameis Winston's statement
"After weighing this decision with my family and friends, I have decided to declare for the 2015 NFL draft and forgo my remaining eligibility at Florida State. I reached this very difficult decision after careful consideration and long thought, realizing how difficult it would be to say goodbye to my family at Florida State. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to wear the garnet and gold and have greatly enjoyed my time as a Seminole, both as an athlete and a student in the classroom.
"I will always take pride in leading our team back to national prominence and am confident that my returning teammates will continue the success for many years to come.
"To the fans, I can't thank you enough for the support you showed me and the team over the last three seasons; it was a humbling experience to bring the Championship back to Tallahassee for you all to enjoy.
"To my teammates, it's been an incredible opportunity to play with the most impressive collection of talent and people the game has seen; you all have been there for me through the highs and lows and the relationships we have formed extend well beyond the field. For this, I thank you.
"To the coaching staff and especially Coach Fisher, I am forever grateful for the ways you developed me as a player and a person as I have grown over the years. I knew I made the right decision to come to Florida State four years ago and couldn't be happier with this choice as I write this today.
"As I embark in the next challenge of playing in the NFL, I look forward to contributing to a long line of successful alumni at the next level. I want you all to know that I will make Seminole Nation proud and continue to bring the passion and love for the game you all have seen in Doak Campbell since my first day as a 'Nole. Thank you for making my time in Tallahassee some of the best years of my life."
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