Jameis Winston of Florida State University walked away with the Heisman Memorial Trophy Award for Outstanding College Football Player Saturday, December 14, 2013, at Best Buy Theater in Times Square in
New York City. The 19-year old Winston, who hails from Bessemer, Alabama, became just the second freshman ever, following Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M a year ago, to win the award. The 6’4”, 228-lb
player became the third Florida State Seminole quarterback to win the award, following Chris Weinke and former New York Knick point guard Charlie Ward.
Winston’s spectacular season was cemented with the Heisman win. Among the many statistics that led to Winston winning the award, he was 237-349 (68%) for 3,820 yards, and threw for 38 touchdowns on a 13-0
team that averaged 53.0 points per game. Many of Florida State’s games were over by halftime, with the Seminoles winning no game by fewer than two touchdowns, and pummeling one opponent by an astonishing 66 points.
What makes Winston different from many Heisman Trophy winners of recent years is his talent in two sports. “I can’t see myself playing football without baseball and I can’t see myself playing baseball
without football”, he said, referring to his love of both sports. We know how good he is in football, but how good of a baseball player is he? He was drafted by the Texas Rangers the 15th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, but chose to go to college to earn his education, and play both sports on a college level. Winston was asked Saturday before the Heisman Trophy Award winner was announced if he could see himself playing both football and baseball professionally. “I believe you can do anything you put your mind to, especially with my hard work and determination, I can do anything I want to do, and I know it’s going to be difficult, I know I am going to have doubters…as long as you have a positive mind, as long as you get an education, you can do anything.” It has been a generation since we have seen two-sport stars like Bo Jackson (also a Heisman Trophy winner) and Deion Sanders play both football and baseball, but Jameis Winston seems determined to succeed in both.
One of the most remarkable things about Winston, in addition to his tremendous talent on the football field and the baseball diamond, is his incredible poise. I was in awe of his demeanor, as he faced tough questions from media members from all across the globe before the Heisman winner was announced. “I am mentally strong because he prepared me for that,” Jameis said of his upbringing and the teachings
of his father. He later made a statement that many young men around the world could benefit from. ““For you to be a man, the kid in you must die. I believe that kid in me has died.” That poise, along with his confidence, is something that his parents must be commended for, and, after winning the award, Jameis got a little emotional when he saw the proud look on the faces of his parents. Winston may be seeing similar looks on the faces of his parents for quite some time if he continues on this path of success.
Jameis did have the need to mature quickly. Though the investigation into a sexual assault that he was accused of is over and no charges were filed against him, unfortunately, this is a negative incident
that he was asked about before and after his received the Heisman Trophy, and it is, unfortunately, something that will follow him throughout his career, with his accuser likely to file more charges
and garner more media attention in the future.
What could possibly top winning the Heisman Trophy as a 19-year old for Winston? Finishing an undefeated season with a win against Auburn in the Bowl Championship Series Championship game on Monday, January 6, 2014, which just so happens to be his 20th birthday. Jameis Winston has already etched his name into the history books, and with a championship win, he will instantly go down as having arguably the greatest season in college football history.