Posted December 15, 2013

Heisman Trophy leaves usually poised Jameis Winston speechless

Florida State, Heisman Trophy, Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston (right) won the Heisman Trophy by x biggest margin. (Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)

Jameis Winston (right) won the Heisman Trophy by the seventh-largest margin in history. (Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)

NEW YORK — Jameis Winston flashed a wide smile as he took the stage at the 2013 Heisman Trophy ceremony at the Best Buy Theater in New York. It was the same smile we’ve seen all season from the talented and gregarious quarterback, a player whose carefree demeanor often conjured up comparisons to Magic Johnson and other athletes well-known for affable personalities. Few players have been as comfortable in front of a camera this season as Florida State’s star. For now, this was Winston’s moment.

Yet with the sport’s most prestigious award in hand, Winston, for once, couldn’t find words. “I was speechless,” the Seminoles’ redshirt freshman quarterback said. “I had to shake everyone’s hand twice. I didn’t know what to do.”

That was unusual for a quarterback whose poise largely defined his remarkable campaign as a first-year starter, one who displayed the leadership of a senior rather than the mistakes of a freshman. But perhaps that’s becoming more common in college football these days. The redshirt freshman Winston became the second straight freshman to claim the Heisman Trophy, only one year after Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel won the award in 2012. Winston claimed a whopping 668 first-place votes, ninth all-time, and 2,205 total points. He bested runner-up AJ McCarron of Alabama by 1,501 points. That margin was the seventh-largest in Heisman history, leaving little doubt who the country considered the best player in college football.

The victory by the 19-year-old Winston, the Heisman’s youngest winner ever, is perhaps the latest example of a gradual change taking place across the sport’s landscape. One season ago, Manziel’s victory was considered a barrier-breaking moment in Heisman history. He was the first freshman to claim the award, but there was no telling how much of an impact that broken barrier would have on college football. Yet that effect feels palpable only one year later thanks to Winston.

“There’s no age limit on being a great player,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We’ve broken down those barriers. If they’re the best players, we’re now accepting them into our society … Like we say, a play doesn’t care who makes it. There’s no age limit on being a great player.”

Much like Manziel before him, Winston ripped through his competition all season long as a first-year stater, but he did so as the headliner of the country’s eventual No. 1 team. He set national freshman records with 3,820 passing yards and 38 touchdowns, and he finished the year as the country’s leader in passing efficiency (190.1). In October he tossed for 444 passing yards and accounted for four scores in a 51-14 rout of Clemson in Death Valley, perhaps the biggest road win of the year in college football. Moreover, his Seminoles reached the BCS title game opposite Auburn. This all occurred with Winston replacing a first-round NFL draft pick at quarterback in E.J. Manuel. So much for a learning curve, right?

Winston didn’t face many challenges on the field, but his biggest challenge came off of it. The quarterback’s shot at the trophy – and, in reality, much more – was nearly derailed once his involvement in a sexual assault investigation became public last month. Serious allegations loomed over the last few weeks of Winston’s stellar season, putting his record-breaking numbers in perspective as the country awaited a decision on whether charges would be brought against the redshirt freshman.

Though the Florida state attorney’s office eventually decided not enough evidence existed to charge Winston, his implication seemingly had an effect on his candidacy: Of the 900 ballots tabulated, Winston was left off 115 of them entirely. The Heisman Trust’s mission calls to recognize a player who “exhibits a pursuit of excellence with integrity,” something that appeared to weigh heavily on some voters’ minds. The allegations surrounding Winston were much more serious than the well-publicized off-field troubles of Manziel during the offseason, but both situations fed right into the hands of traditional Heisman voters who shy away from underclassmen, many of whom are sometimes considered less mature.

On Saturday Winston reflected on his own personal growth during a tumultuous end to his first college football season. He knew he wouldn’t have reached New York were it not for his own maturation along the way. That’s why standing in front of past Heisman winners brought a sense of vindication to Winston.

“One thing Coach Fisher has always told me – especially through this process – is ‘For you to be a man, the kid in you must die,’” Winston said. “I believe that kid in me has died. I’m always going to have my personality. I’m always going to have my character. But I have to become a man, and that comes through a process.”

Winston’s growth, personally and athletically, is a microcosm of a trend taking place across college football in recent years. No longer are players being forced to wait behind more experienced veterans on the depth chart. High-profile players like Winston and Manziel along with Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and others have made significant impacts on the game directly out of high school. Some, like South Carolina’s mammoth defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, have even caused others to question the restrictions that keep players in college for three years.

Fisher said coaches are not blind to the youth movement across the sport. “The development of these kids shows how hard they work,” he said. “The systems that are going on in high school, they train these kids at young ages are getting them more ready for college quicker. We’re recognizing that and putting them on the field.”

That impact has extended to the Heisman race, as well. No underclassmen had ever claimed the trophy prior to Tim Tebow’s win as a sophomore in 2007. Since then, five of the last seven Heisman winners have been freshmen or sophomores. That’s completely different from what Heisman history dictates. After all, all but 21 winners have been seniors, but a senior has not won the trophy since Ohio State’s Troy Smith in 2006.

“You shouldn’t have to sit back and watch an older fellow lead a team,” Winston said. “You shouldn’t have to wait your turn. You’re your own person. Whatever you feel the need to do. If you’re a selfless person, you’re going to do whatever you have to do and help your team out.”

That’s the message reverberating through college football in 2013. The last two Heisman winners were relative unknowns when they kicked off their eventual Heisman campaigns. In many ways college football is beginning to mirror the “one-and-done” atmosphere of college basketball, where highly touted high school prospects take the country by storm. That’s an exciting notion for fans of the sport. Which newcomer will be next season’s Jameis Winston or Johnny Manziel? Who will be next to display leadership beyond his years?

Of course, sometimes the country’s best player can’t even contain his inner child. Winning the Heisman will do that to you.

“When I grabbed the trophy, I was like, ‘This is my trophy.’” Winston said. “I was like a little kid. I was acting like I didn’t even want to pick it up. I just wanted to hug the trophy.”

133 comments
kmagklein
kmagklein

DNA evidence of a gang bang I no longer support college sports at any level any sport goodbye perverts, why don't you give sandusky an award while your at it.

Rue
Rue

Ohhhhhhhhh....I thought we were voting the 'HYMEN REWARD'...

Rue
Rue

YOU CAN'T SPELL FELONY SEX ASSAULT WITHOUT  F...S...U...!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rue
Rue

Spew all you want, but poor wittle Winston will ALWAYS be remembered as winning the Heisman IN SPITE OF, not because of.  20, 40, 60 years from now--he'll be the guy who one the Heisman despite charges of rape, vandalism, & misconduct.  Regardless, the award is now relegated to the same level as a chugging contest trophy, anyway.  I hear Miley Cyrus & Lindsey Lohan are front runners for next season.

Rue
Rue

Usually poised?  You're SICK!  EVERY person who voted for this predator: KARMA is a biotch!!!!  That aside--poised???  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  Someone should be investigating this idiot's middle school, high school, test administrators, and first semester instructors.  Who passed this guy from/thru middle to high school grammar, reading, literature, & English comp courses???  Who passed him from 9th grade to 10th?? 10th to 11th??  11th to 12th??  Who actually graduated this kid from high school????  What was his reported SAT/ACT score to achieve entry/acceptance to Florida State University?  Gotta tell ya, have a REALLY hard time believing this guy passed w/number required of other applicants.  He is apparently illiterate.  "I seens my (parents') faces...and I ain't seens that in a long time'??  OMG!!!  Florida State University, his High School--should be MORTIFIED.  Maybe if he spent more time studying and less time vandalizing property and raping young women....

jafco99
jafco99

Jameis was speechless because he has nothing to say.  Period.

MichaelBauer
MichaelBauer

"Speechless" on the advice of his attorney...

CousinVinny75
CousinVinny75

If Jameis Winston is guilty in your eyes but Duke Lacrosse players and George Zimmerman are innocent, it's because you're a racist.

dholiday232
dholiday232

Having a rape charge on yo rap sheet makes you an American hero.

yehonala04
yehonala04

"One note: There's been much made of Winston being "left off" 115 ballots. Some commentators are suggesting that it is evidence that some voters had concerns about the off-the-field issues. There may be some, but the number of ballots he was "left off" of is not unusual -- except that's actually unusually low. Winston appeared on 87.6% of ballots, which is actually the 7th highest number of ballots all-time.http://www.stiffarmtrophy.com/ballots/  about Heisman voting. " 


RonChapman
RonChapman

Jameis winston FOUND GUILTY in the Court of Public Opinion.


Jury polling:
Jury #1. Sports Media. Evidence: allegations from the claimant's attorney.
Jury #2. Mainstream Media. Evidence: reports from the Sports Media.
Jury #3. Athlete Haters. Evidence: from Media reporting.
Jury #4. FSU Haters. Evidence: just because he is good.
Jury #5. Racists. Evidence: he is black therefore he is guilty by association.
Jury #6. High Schoolers. Evidence: none, but it is funny to call him a rapist.
Jury #7. Law Enforcement Haters. Evidence: none, but we know it's a cover-up. Just connect the dots, Athlete+FSU+Police+SA+FDLE+Supporters+Boosters+Governor+whoever=conspiracy.
Jury #8. Pseudo Legal Experts. Evidence: the claimant's attorney said so; and it was reported in the Media. Therefore, it is facts.

Sentencing:
We, the jury, find the defendant(even though he is not charged) guilty as charged in the Court of Public Opinion. He shall be branded as a "Rapist" until proven innocent. Even though the evidence in a real Court of Law does not exist, the claimant's attorney should file a civil lawsuit against Mr. Winston(he will be making a lot of money!), the State Attorney Office, the FDLE, the hospital, the cab driver, the bar, the apartment complex and reserve the rights to TBA.

Protestors outside the Court of Public Opinion:
Protestor #1. How can you find someone guilty without any charge? COPO(the Court of public opinion already handed down its Guilty verdict).
Protestor #2. Isn't JW innocent until proven guilty in the Court of Law? It doesn't apply in COPO.
Protestor #3. Why is JW's name released without due process? The Media says its OK.
Protestor #4. What about the SAO & FDLE investigation? Its a conspiracy defended by FSU.
Protestor #5. But the claimant is not credible with her complaint. So? says the claimant's attorney. What does credibility has to do with anything? He raped her. Because I said so.
Protestor #6. What about all those conflicting stories by the claimant? COPO doesn't think it is conflicting. And I told the Media they are not.
Protestor #7. What about the two eyewitnesses? They are not credible because I don't find them credible. Besides, COPO has determined that it is a conspiracy.
Protestor #8. Why are you, the claimant's attorney, are timing all your press releases and press conference around JW's public events? I would not have been a great personal injury attorney if I cannot take advantage of all the free publicity at the expenses of Winton's fame. Won't you?

OK
OK

censor

JamesHeneghan
JamesHeneghan

Screw all of you people who want to lynch an innocent man because he doesn't play for your team.  Admire his Heisman season and cry yourself to sleep when he wins the national championship!

GP1
GP1

So, "Razor:" If you are seriously upset about the Rape issue, and not just an FSU-hater, put "wonders hall coverup" in your favorite search engine and ask why neither Keith Appling nor Adreian Payne was charged when one said in a police deposition that he watched the other have sex with someone who "wasn't into it" during orientation weekend?  


This was a true coverup, as the names were never revealed to the media.  Contrast this to the fact that Winston's teammates both corroborated his story to the police.  There is simply no "evidence" but the "he said, she said" of someone who has more holes in her story than FSU haters do in their pockets.


Sorry, but this is the US, where people are innocent until proven guilty.

RazorRex
RazorRex

Well Tallahassee is a big football town, so ya know Rape can be swept under the rug for football.  This is a shameful day in College Football history.  The Heisman has lost it's prestige and it's meaning.  No integrity in the last few winners.  Thugs that are bringing shame to what was once an incredible award.  Now we have accused rapists, party boys, and all sorts of thugs winning it.  Very sad day indeed.

Globetrottingchuck
Globetrottingchuck

Jameis Winston is a very talented football player.
Congrats to him on his accomplishments!
Did you see his new T shirt?
www.teespring.com/j-boo

TNdarkJedi
TNdarkJedi

When he goes pro after next season I bet the raiders will be the only team willing to draft him, teams do there own investigating, I also think his team mates who changed there story will get a little hush money or we will see them on cnn in an exclusive paid interview call him out as a rapist, time will tell.

Whaaaaaatever
Whaaaaaatever

@Rue  

So when none of this falls out like you want it to, and when all what you accuse and predict does not come to pass, can any of your words be undone? Will your false allegations and slanderous libel be punishable in anyway or do you get off free without justice?


The very thing you're accusing Winston of doing you are setting yourself up to do in a much more diabolical way. That is hypocrisy at its highest.


... if the truth be known, you who would rather see someone else win the Heisman or wishing your favorite team is in place of the FSU Seminoles are prone to making these type remarks, diminishing and demonizing an 18 yr old kid's actions (Winston), and assassinating his character publicly now when he is 19 by playing lawyer, judge, and jury on these messages boards.


You do so with anonymity behind a screen & keyboard just so you can feel a moment of bliss from trashing a perceived opponent because YOUR favorite player or team did not win a trophy. What a sick, selfish, narcissistic individual.


Get a life ...
 

Whaaaaaatever
Whaaaaaatever

@Rue... and that's the source of all this hatred ... it is the disdain (jealousy) for FSU football accomplishments. We all knew this anyway but there it is in black & white.


Your words are worthless!

Whaaaaaatever
Whaaaaaatever

@Rue   "KARMA is a biotch!!!!"

Yes, it is! ... and I think you're going to eat those words. Either that or gag on them.

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

@Rue He was accepted at Stanford. I doubt you can spell Stanford. 

Rue
Rue

@CousinVinny75 

Ummmm...the Duke LaCrosse players are innocent because the accuser admitted she lied/made up the story.  Of course, that was AFTER they were indeed arrested, not awarded, and had their lives completely turned upside down so the school could avoid ppl like you who would toss around the race card.  So, now that you've been educated, you can see that there WAS indeed racism in the Duke LaCrosse case--a black woman lied and accused several white athletes of a gang rape she later admitted never occurred.  Would you consider that, oh, what is that word you like to toss around...a 'lynching'?! There it is!  >hello goose, this is gander<

SamNada
SamNada

@yehonala04  Correct.  Many commenters are ignorant of the history of Heisman voting, or were just looking for some excuse to take a dig.  Tebow was left off of 121 ballots.  Many others had much higher non-votes. 

Rue
Rue

@RonChapman 

Wow---your parents must be really proud.  Hope your mom isn't the next victim of this rapist.

Rue
Rue

@GP1  Because Winston's teammates corroborating his story means a hill of beans...even if EVERYTHING occurred as Winston and his teammates say it did, pursuant to FL law, it was sexual assault:


"A victim intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is incapable of giving legal consent."


The fact that this has been swept under the rug for a college football player...well, not shocking.  But w/24 hrs news/internet, etc, has certainly made it messier for FSU & the state.  But make no mistake, even if it ALL happened as Winston says it did, under current FL law, it was rape.  Period.  

SJ_One
SJ_One

@RazorRex Yeah, bring back the good old days when the award went to classy, stand-up guys like O.J. Simpson.

Whaaaaaatever
Whaaaaaatever

@RazorRex  

Your accusations are mostly shallow but with direct aim at Winston and not anybody else. Lets be real. . I understand if you'd like to see your team or favorite player win the Heisman but to demonize an 18 yr old kids actions (which was only an accusation - anybody can make those - and without proof)  and then go on to assassinate his character behind the nameless face of the keyboard just so you can feel "vindicated" because your "boy" did not win the trophy makes you a real piece of $hit.

Rue
Rue

@Globetrottingchuck I like the one that sez "My Quarterback Won the Heisman and All I Got Was a Lousy Rape Kit"...

Rue
Rue

@ElvisHitler Well, of course you'd think so, seeing how found you are of the Fuhrer...

JackJackson1
JackJackson1

@TNdarkJedi you realize they submitted sworn affidavits...so whatever hush money you think is out there will not be enough for them to avoid prosecution

Whaaaaaatever
Whaaaaaatever

@TNdarkJedi  

I think your tin foil hat is on too tight - might want to loosen it up a bit. 

So when none of this falls out like you predict can your words be undone. Will those false allegations and slanderous libel be punishable in anyway or do you get off free without justice. 


The very thing your accusing Winston of you are setting yourself up for. Hypocrisy at its highest.

Adolfis
Adolfis

@Whaaaaaatever @Rue 

SPeaking of attacking people.


Seek help for your problems. Whaaaaa you are so ull of lies, hate, bigotry and foul language and have no place on the comment boards.

Adolfis
Adolfis

@Whaaaaaatever @Rue 

Whaaaaa seek help for you problems. Your comments have no place here. You have no credibility.


These foul posts you put up show a full lack of integrity.

SamNada
SamNada

@Rue@GP1  The science of the tox reports negates your fantasy.  Her friend texted her to go home with him at Pot Belly's.  Apparently she didn't think she was incapable of consent.  Under FL law the evidence was not consistent with rape or sexual assault.

Rue
Rue

@SJ_One @RazorRex Really??  Do you not even realize where you're headed w/that one...ROTFLMAO

Rue
Rue

@Whaaaaaatever @RazorRex 

Yes, it's just a coincedance that he always seems to be where trouble is...poor, poor Winston.  It appears Winston has been allowed to graduate high school w/o ever attending a single grammar class.  But poor, poor Winston...

Rue
Rue

@JackJackson1 @TNdarkJedi 

Seriously--how old are you?  WTH does sworn affadavits have to do w/ANYTHING??  This is FSU, this is Winston, this is college football...the truth has nothing to do w/anything.

Adolfis
Adolfis

@Whaaaaaatever @Adolfis @Rue 


whaaaa feeling sorry for you seems to be a "f"ull time occupation. Sadly enough it has to be done when you continue to post offensive and rude comments. It seems you have latched onto me for some odd reason. Thats ok if it makes you feel better. I guess you need a goal in life. I honestly hope you seek help with all the the issues you have.


And it would add credibility to your comments where you are trying to bash my posts about spelling if only you didnt make any errors in your comments.

MariaATrimble
MariaATrimble

@Adolfis @Whaaaaaatever @Rue 


I agree with you Adolfis. It is strange how the Winston supporters fail to be able to list a page and paragraph from the TPD or SA investigative report to back up most of their inaccurate comments. Its a shame when these people have to lie instead of posting facts that have come from the investigation.

Adolfis
Adolfis

@Whaaaaaatever @Adolfis @Rue 


Whaaaa I honestly feel sorry for you. It would be a different story if your rude posts full of hatred and foul language added value to this conversation but sadly they do not.

Whaaaaaatever
Whaaaaaatever

@Adolfis@Whaaaaaatever@Rue

"Whaaaaa seek help for you problems ..."

Is that how you talk? It's "YOUR" not "you" dumba$$.

I think every single post you made for that past week has been full of misspellings, mis-quotes, inaccurate statements, false accusations, and generally you talking out your butt.

These foul posts you put up show a full lack of intelligence.