Florida State Football: Jameis Winston Declares For NFL Draft
FSU fans and the school’s athletic department saw this coming. After two season as the Seminoles quarterback, a national title and a Heisman Trophy attached to his resume, Jameis Winston has announced his intention to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft. Winston made it official on Wednesday, according to many media sources.
According to a story on CBSsports.com, that report comes courtesy of Winston's father Antonor Winston, who told ESPN one day earlier that his son would wait until after the College Football Playoff National Championship to announce a decision. That changed Tuesday night, Antonor Winston said, when Jameis Winston came to a "firm decision" (as relayed by Hale) that the redshirt sophomore would forgo his final two seasons of eligibility in Tallahassee.
Antonor Winston also spoke to al.com reporter Natalie Pierre on Wednesday morning, confirming the initial report.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Jameis Winston has been widely considered a minimum top-five pick if he entered the upcoming draft with the most recent CBSSports.com mock drafts projecting the Tennessee Titans to select him No. 2 overall.
Winston will leave FSU with a 26-1 record as a starter, the 2013 Heisman Trophy, two ACC titles and the 2013 BCS National Championship. The Seminoles' hopes of a second-straight national title were dashed on New Year's Day with a 59-20 loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl, Winston's only defeat in two seasons as the team's starting quarterback.
The quarterback will also leave Tallahassee after two years of controversy and criticism that plagued him for actions off the football field and the baseball diamond. Winston is also a solid baseball prospect having been drafted by the Texas Rangers out of high school.
In October, NFL.com reported that Winston intended to leave the football program after this season, but nothing else was said about it. After the end of the 2014 regular season – one that saw FSU reach another undefeated season and was part of the first College Football Playoff, the questions about his future ramped up again.
FSU lost in the Rose Bowl to Oregon 59-20, snapping a 29 game winning streak for the school and a personal streak of 26 straight wins.
Projected as a high first round pick in the Draft, there is some speculation that Winston could be the first or second pick overall, depending on Marcus Mariota’s decision to stay in school or declare as well. Mariota is a four-year junior. Students have until January 15 to decide on their future.
The top quarter of the Draft is full of teams that are in need of quarterback help. Both Tampa Bay and Tennessee, first and second in the pecking order, could be in the market for his services. Teams like the New York Jets, Chicago, and St. Louis may also be looking to draft their franchise player this year.