LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – 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 todays College Football Awards Show at Disney nominated for two of the nights top awards – the Maxwell Award for the nations top player and the Davey OBrien 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 footballs 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, its overwhelming to me.
Should Winston claim the Heisman, it would be the second consecutive year that it went to a freshman.
Though that would also mean his name isnt called, McCarron said it would be a feat that wouldnt be derided by the fifth-year senior, who just missed a shot at leading Alabama to a third consecutive national championship.
It doesnt make me feel any way. Im happy for those guys, he said. Johnnys one of my good friends. Jameis, Id be happy for him, too. I dont have any hatred against anybody, or against the Heisman committee or whoever votes on it. Theyre going to vote how theyre going to vote.
Though hes 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 didnt vote for himself in first or second place.
Its a possibility, Manziel said of the chances of seeing consecutive freshmen win. I guess well find out on Saturday. But its crazy to have that long of a barrier and then potentially we could have two back-to-back. So definitely a neat deal, though.
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.
In my mind, I feel like Im playing for the most part at a high level, he said. Im putting the ball where I want it to be, and Im throwing it with a lot of velocity. So in my mind, I think I am.
As for Winston, he said he hasnt started to envision holding the Heisman.
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. Its not really for me. Its for my family and my teammates.