JAMEIS WINSTON: Throughout the whole process, I was thinking, I can't wait till we can prepare for the championship game. The best part is probably the food. I got fat over there, enjoying everything that was going on. My team was enjoying it, too. It feels so good just to be back on the football field preparing to go play out in a game like this.
Q. Did you play a football for a week? What did you do during that time?
JAMEIS WINSTON: When I went home, I threw the football. Obviously, when I had came back home from New York, I threw a lot. I mean, from Orlando, that week from the thing in Orlando to the thing in New York, the Heisman, I mean, it was fun, it was. But at the end of the day, I'm a football player. I'm not a superstar. I'm not out there getting awards every day. I need to play football.
Q. When was the time you remember, I can see myself going here? Do you remember when that became a reality?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I was there the first day, I was sitting where we were eating at. I was just looking at the field, had no paint on the field. I said, I can see myself on this field. I was probably bragging, I can see myself throwing touchdowns on this field. This is the place for me right here. That was a dream come true now that I'm playing on this field.
Q. What did Coach Fisher do to pluck you away from Alabama?
JAMEIS WINSTON: It was my decision. It really was a decision about the draft, Florida State, Stanford in the mix. I had LSU. LSU had a good baseball team, too. But Coach Fisher and Coach Craig, they just kept it real with me, laid out my foundation. The baseball coaches told me, Hey, you can come do this, do that. You don't have to worry about the draft, come here and prepare. I was like, Hey, why not? Florida State looking pretty right now.
Q. Where was Texas in that?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Texas was my favorite time. Through the whole recruiting process, I said to my coach, We got to get Texas on the phone. When I was young, I looked up to Vince Young. I always wanted to go to Texas, but the funny thing was I was an Oklahoma Sooners fan. So when Oklahoma came, I was like, I'm an Oklahoma fan, but I really want to go to Texas.
Q. How did that work out?
JAMEIS WINSTON: It didn't work out. That's probably why I didn't get offered to Texas because I was an Oklahoma fan. That whole thing. Obviously I'm glad I'm here at Florida State.
Q. Did you ever talk to Mack Brown?
JAMEIS WINSTON: No.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: Oh, yeah, I know. I tried to call him a couple times because I really like Texas.
Q. What was your relationship like with Coach Craig and what is it like now?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Me and Coach Craig really have a great relationship. I'm not talking to him this week. I deleted him on the phone this week so I wouldn't call him. I called him and talked to him about everything. Our relationship was great. The way Coach Sanders came in and just took me away from Coach Craig and stuff like that. Coach Craig is still one of the mentors in my life, like a father figure to me. Through the whole recruiting process, we always had maintained a great relationship. Coach Sanders, when you got a kid that's used to this and that. He just comes in. The first impression is always the best. His first day in there, he's just like, Hey, JAMEIS, I don't care who you like, I'm your coach now.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: Cameron is a beast, man. Guys like him and Johnny Manziel, that makes me go out, You can do this. Cam is obviously a freak. Johnny is a freak. Those guys influenced me to be better. I want to be better than those guys. I want to keep getting better so I'm the one that those guys talk about. Cam went to Auburn. Made me think about Auburn. Cam left after the first year.
Q. You mentioned Coach Craig in your Heisman Trophy speech. Why?
JAMEIS WINSTON: He's a father figure in my life. We have a good relationship. It's like me, Coach Craig, Coach Fisher, we developed that bond. Me and Coach Craig was always the main thing. This year when Coach Craig left towards the spring, Coach Fisher, he knew the relationship that Coach Craig and I had. Coach Fisher took over that role. Now Coach Fisher is my father figure. That's one thing about Coach Fisher as a coach. People talk about how he is on the practice field, how hard he is to help. When he sees one of his players that actually need something in their life, the things he's going through we Ethan, he doesn't have to do anything like that for me or do anything like that. But he makes that a motive in his day to day like. He's like JAMEIS, if you need to talk, come to my office and talk to me. That really meant a lot to me.
Q. What allows Coach Craig to have such a great relationship with players?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Similarities. I mean he was a quarterback at Alabama. He played at Auburn. Just talking to him, meeting his family and everything, I see him as me. When I grow up, I want to be like him. Obviously, I want to be in the NFL longer. When I grow up, I have to have somebody in my life. He's a funny guy. I love his family. I call him Uncle Craig. He's like one of my uncles, or something like that.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: That was real tough.
Q. What day did you win the job of quarterback? Did you celebrate?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I don't even remember the day. I remember when Coach Fisher told me. When he told me, I just was like, All right, so are you going to tell the media this? What's going on? He eventually told them. When he told me, after I left his office, I left his office, went to the staircase, got down on my knees and started thanking God. Other than when I was named a quarterback as a freshman, I was just like, I mean, It happened again. Coach Fisher trusted me with his team. I was like, Man, Coach Fisher trust me to be the quarterback of the Florida State Seminoles. Someone else I look up to, E.J., like E.J. just had this team and Coach Fisher just gave this prize to me. I was like, I got a lot of new toys to play with (laughter).
Q. Even then, is he mature enough to put everything into this job, what did you have to do to prove?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I had to go play football. Do what I do every day. Obviously Jake, a tremendous quarterback. Sean, he does some tremendous things, but Jake is amazing. Jake can go to any college out there and play quarterback for them. I think it was good competing against him. Then having Clint, he can go anywhere because he's a great player. Having to compete against Jake every single day, that got me ready for the season. The position ain't yours. Ain't nothing yours. You got to go and get what you want. Going to practice every day, I have to change the way I went through every day to show Coach Fisher, I'm here to make a statement, I'm here to compete. I took that and ran with it because now every game I'm out here competing, acting like I'm competing against Jake every single game. That's how it worked out.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: No (laughter). I ain't never. You probably see it more in baseball because baseball, be some guys hitting bombs left and right. That's wild. I'm never going to look at somebody and say, I can't do that. That's not the person that I am.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: Yeah, 'cause I believe if Jake were (indiscernible), we'd still be undefeated, and that's all I care about. I would have found a way to get on that field, I promise you.
Q. The concept of somebody being good enough having to wait three years.
JAMEIS WINSTON: It's just the way things are. I really can't say anything on that because a lot of people have waited that long. I don't want to be the new person that say, Hey, I play one more year and (indiscernible). I did okay. Even if I have a bad year or have an up year, I'm going to have the same compass, because that's just the way I am, but some people can't handle that. Some people need people to love them to be successful. That's something I look forward to. I look forward to playing two more years here and having success. If that's what I got to do to get people, especially scouts and NFL people, to see like, Hey, he's ready, I'll do anything to be on that level, Major League Baseball or an NFL player.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: No, I got to get better at everything.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: The way Coach Fisher be talking to me, I don't know (laughter).
Q. How realistic is it to play two professional sports at the highest level?
JAMEIS WINSTON: You can do anything you put your mind do. A lot of people are going to say, No way. He's a quarterback. Bo Jackson was a runningback. The one thing I always seem to do is gain the trust of my teammates. Even being in the NFL, if I can convince those guys I can be your quarterback, I can go play baseball for the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, I can't talk about that, because I'm living in the moment right now. Bo Jackson, no one can beat Bo Jackson. If the guy wouldn't have got hurt, he probably would be in the Hall of Fame in both baseball and football.
Q. Given your relationship with Coach Craig, does it seem funny that he's concentrating on beating you and you're concentrating on beating him?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I don't think he's concentrating on beating me. He's concentrating on beating Florida State. I think he's concentrating on scoring points and on our defense. Just like I'm not concentrating on beating him, because at the end of the day, win or lose, me and him are going to remain the tame. He's going to be happy for me if we win. I'm going to be happy for him if they win.
Q. Describe the transition from baseball.
JAMEIS WINSTON: Well, anything about baseball right now, I promise you I don't have any ideas. Right now I got one thing on my mind, win the national championship on Monday. Tuesday comes, I be ready for it then. I'm pretty sure Coach Mike Martin, he'll talk to me about it then. I know he's not saying nothing about baseball to me right now.
Q. A lot of Heisman Trophy winners have struggled in the bowl season. The spotlight is on them. Why do you think that is?
Do you think you can overcome it?
JAMEIS WINSTON: One thing I can tell you about history, it's in the past. I'm not worried about what history has said. I'm worried about what's happening today, what's happening on Monday, what I got to do to prepare myself to do well in this game. Whatever has happened, history said that a freshman can't win the Heisman Trophy last year, but Johnny Football did. Never see another freshman win this award. I did it this year. History is history. There's great people that played back then. There's great people that did great things back then. But right now we live in today.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: I'm not even talking about that. I'm playing football. I'm worrying about winning the championship.
Q. Have you ever played a game on your birthday, either football or baseball?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I think I played one in basketball actually. I know I haven't played one in baseball.
Q. Did you do well that game?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I know I did well. Trying to show out for everybody.
Q. Talk about Coach Fisher maybe going to Texas, have you talked about that?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I messed with Coach Fisher about that. Coach Fisher and me not worried about that. We're worried about winning the national championship.
Q. You're going to ask him if you can go?
JAMEIS WINSTON: He's my coach. He's my head coach. We're not worried about that. We want to win a national championship game. If you ask Coach Fisher that, he's going to say, We're worried about winning the national championship.
Q. (Question regarding Kenny Shaw.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: This is their year. They're seniors. They're Coach Fisher's first class. For them to be in the national championship. There's not only just Kenny, like Demonte McAllister, people don't look at him. Tillman, Jonah, it's important, to me, for all those guys.
Q. Kenny, as far as the presence he's had on the field.
JAMEIS WINSTON: He catches everything that comes his way. Obviously I'm going to miss that guy. Travis Rudolph just came in, that's a new toy. We have Scooter Haggins, he's coming back off of injuries, that's a new toy. We can't look towards the past. Obviously I'm going to miss them. He's going to have a great future in the NFL, do great things. It's going to break up the trio, but hopefully we can have a new trio. Kenny, KB, and Rashad. It's hard. We might have three wide receivers that break that thousand yard mark. I don't know when that's been done in history. I look forward to that.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: The Alabama game. The Alabama game is going to be something that is going to stick with the Alabama fans, the Auburn fans. Down 21 0 at halftime. He came back at beat Alabama at Alabama. C'mon, man. Only Cam can do that. Yes, we can. Only Cam can do that. When you look at the team Cam had that year, he did this all in one year. That was the amazing part. He beat Alabama. I was sitting in the stands when he did that. You should have heard how many people was downing him. That's one thing growing up in Alabama. Alabama fans, Auburn fans, even though my mama was like, You're an Auburn fan. I'm like, Mama, I'm not either one. Seeing him do that, it was amazing. It's funny seeing how Alabama and Auburn fans react after that game. It's the funniest thing in the world.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: I'm going to be able to say I'm a champion. That's the most important part.
Q. (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: Just because, I mean, my mama was a child of 13. She was the youngest. She was the only person in her family to be an Auburn fan. All my uncles were Alabama fans. When you're born in that state, you have to be either this or that. Obviously when I first started football, Oklahoma winning, Boomer Sooner baby. I just roll with that.
Q. (Question regarding Devonta Freeman.)
JAMEIS WINSTON: I don't think a lot of people notice Devonta Freeman, James Wilder, or Carlos Williams. Carlos Williams, this is his first year at Auburn. He can be one of the most dynamic backs in the country. He runs a 4.3. He's 220. He's 6'2". Devonta, he's been looked over ever since high school. Florida State was his only big time offer, him being from Miami Central. That's why Devonta plays every game with the amount of heart and dedication he does every day.
Q. You mention all the weapons you guys have. When Auburn was in here, people were talking about all the close games they had. Did you feel with all the talent we have, you were meant to end up in this game?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Yes, because we prepared, we did the things that we did. We weren't going to be stopped. Before we played Clemson, before we played Florida, before we played Miami, we put together the team. I said, Guys, where in the rule book does it say we can't blow out everybody that we play?
We took that mentality and ran with it. The NCAA has all these rules, but it does not say you cannot blow out everybody you play. That's the mentality we took. Obviously, this is going to be a real tough game for us because Auburn holds the ball all the time with their dynamic running game. Guys, where in the rule book still does it say that we can't blow out everybody we play. In the championship game, Alabama blew out Notre Dame in the championship game last year. We can do anything we want to do.
Q. When in the season did that start?
JAMEIS WINSTON: It started in the spring. I told them, Guys, why can't we blow out the other teams today?
Obviously, we were running. People were talking about who won that game, but I know we won. I know if I stayed in the game, we would have put up about 60.
Q. Were you even concerned about the score of the spring game?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Yes.
Q. Jameis, you began the season sort of as an unknown quantity nationally. You end it with a Heisman Trophy and playing in a National Championship Game. Can you describe how your life has changed this season?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Well, my life hasn't changed at all because our goal as a team, it still isn't over yet. At Florida State, we began the season as everybody was looking at us as, like okay, they've got a freshman quarterback. Nobody is going to pay any attention, now we're in the National Championship.
Q. For you personally has anything changed?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Nothing has changed.
Q. Jameis, did you think it would be this easy? You're making it look easy. Did you think it would be this easy? Or is it this easy?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Well, we've got a team and the coaching staff that we've got, it looks easy. But people don't look at the behind closed doors and how much hard work we put into this. We prepared ourselves for situations like this and we prepared ourselves every day at practice and the things we do every single day. Yes, right now it is easy because all of us, we've got our mindset on one goal and all of us going the same direction.
Q. Jameis, you had a difficult situation that you had to go through this year off the field. How were you able to stay positive and not let that affect you, and Kenny, you're pretty close to Jameis. What was it like watching him go through that and stay strong through that?
JAMEIS WINSTON: Well, it goes back to the teammates. My teammates aren't looking at me anything differently because they know I did nothing wrong through the whole process. But at the end of the day, that kind of brought us closer together as a team, because dang, our quarterback is going through this situation, and dang, people still are not leaving us alone after we're having a successful season. But that brought us closer together as a team. That was a changing point in our whole team because that was a time we needed to get over the hump, we were playing against a Syracuse team that had confidence, and they were coming into our house and they had confidence that they would beat us. It got us back refocused to where we needed to be at.
Q. Jameis, talk a little bit about your relationship with Coach Sanders and how he's helped your development as a quarterback.
JAMEIS WINSTON: Well, Coach Sanders is the main guy. What people don't understand is how much he actually does behind closed doors. Just the other day me and him were sitting down one‑on‑one watching film. He helped me so much and I've lacked to give him credit through this whole process, what he really has taught me. Every single day, Coach Sanders asks me what can I help you do to get better, and usually I say nothing and then he ends up giving me a reason why he can do. What he's done for us to develop a relationship, it's hard because I had a good relationship with Coach Craig, but for him to come in day one and just me to have that automatic bond, this guy is hilarious, and just the way I look forward to coming to practice to get close by him team and you can see that with his past quarterbacks. We had Tee Martin at practice the other day and you just see the genuine love that his players have for him, and he's coached Peyton Manning and hopefully I'll be close to him one day, and just his résumé, he stacks up with the best.
Q. Jameis, can you take us back to the Pitt game, your first start and that performance, I think 25‑of‑27 and all the touchdowns and the statement you made that day? Randy, how surprised were you? I know you've got a lot of confidence in him, but Game 1 for a freshman to have a performance like that.
JAMEIS WINSTON: Well, that game was really just out of anger and out of happiness of me just being on the football field again. When you love this game so much and you've got to sit a whole year off, I mean, it kind of hits you into the heart, and it's like a reality check, like hey, bro, you were sitting on the bench last year. When I came out to that game, I was like, I'm ready, and I had the weapons around me to help me do that. That's when, I mean, I realized as a player‑‑ back in the spring I realized we've got a great team, but I realized as a player, hey, we're out here gelling, we've got this little thing about us, and that's when I knew right then, FSU is going to bring that swag back because we went out there and just showed the world, hey, look at us, we're here, we're here to make a statement. RANDY SANDERS: Honestly I wasn't really surprised. I was a little bit in awe, I think, like a lot of people, just the poise and composure that he had. You saw it every day in spring practice, through the summer, through the fall. But for it to show up on game day that way, that was nice to see. And he had two incompletions, one of them was a throw away, and the other one could have been ruled a completion on the sideline. I think it was a catch Kenny made on the sideline. But the way he saw things, the accuracy he played with, and then our guys getting open, catching the ball and making plays around him makes it much easier.
Q. Jameis, from start to finish, start of the season to the finish, through the controversy, do you feel you've been treated fairly in the press, in the media?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I mean, I can't control people's motives, but what I can control is what I do on the football field every single day and how I react around my teammates. That's what we really focus on because it's not over yet. Obviously we've got a great Auburn team that we've got to face, and it's an actual rivalry game for me because I'm playing the home‑state team. I mean, we just look forward to this game. What people think outside of this and what people are trying to do, I can't control none of that. I just go out there and play football because I enjoy it and I love it and it's my passion, and I've got these boys around me, and that's what we love to do, go out there and play Florida State football.
Q. Two questions: Kenny, Dr.Phillips high school, if you could comment about coming from there to here, and then Jameis, you've had such poise through all of the pressure that you just talked about, and when we ask some of your defensive players if they felt overshadowed they said know because if you could have voted for the FSU team for the Heisman Trophy, you would have. How has it been for you to stay to humble through all this hype? And Kenny, talk a little bit about your days at Dr.Phillips for me.
JAMEIS WINSTON: Well, the defense is absolutely right. I definitely would vote for our team as the Heisman, and when I brought that thing back, I said, thank you to everybody, and I gave them the trophy. I said, hey, this is your trophy. Actually the other day at Dave & Busters, somebody told Kenny congrats on winning the Heisman. I'm like, you're right. He won it for me. When you talk about pressure to me, with my mentality, I'm thinking about just the stuff on the football field because that is my sanctuary, and pressure outside of everything else, that's something that I'm not focusing on, especially when I'm around all these guys because when these guys look at me, they see a‑‑ he's going to be smiling all the time, we probably have to tell him stop playing so much or we've got to tell him calm down. I'm very exciting and sometimes I do things around these guys that they just put their head down like this is our quarterback. But pressure is something that I really don't focus on outside of the football field. I get most of my pressures when Coach Fisher is crawling down my back about making the wrong read or Coach Sanders telling me that I don't got my weight back and I just overthrew a six‑inch wide receiver wide open down the field in practice. Now, that's pressure.
Q. This question is for Kenny and Jameis. Can you talk about the magnitude of the moment? Obviously you all are chasing a perfect season, trying to bring a BCS title to Florida State for the first time in more than a decade.
JAMEIS WINSTON: Well, it means a lot just for Seminole Country. We've got Coach Dawsey sitting up here who's a Seminole himself, and I bet it means more to Coach Dawsey and I've been in meetings more with Coach Dawsey and Coach Haggins than anybody else because they're past Seminoles, and then we've got Coach Sanders here, who's got a past championship, and we've some of these guys on this team who ain't had a championship, like me personally, I haven't had a real championship since middle school. This game means so much to me, like we've got people, like Telvin, Telvin won a lot of championships in high school but this is still the most important game to him in his life. When you've got the opportunity to play in a National Championship Game and your team is the only team on television, and then this game on my birthday, we're not going out there just to play around. We're not going out there to take anybody for granted. We're going out there to play a great game. We're going out there to do what we came here to do every single game, 13 games. It's not over yet. We've got a 14th one, and why not end this year with a victory?
Q. Jameis, maybe no other player can relate to some of the things that you've gone through than Johnny Manziel. Did you have a chance to talk to him at the Heisman ceremony, and if so what did you guys talk about, and has he kept in touch with you?
JAMEIS WINSTON: I did have an opportunity to talk to Johnny. He just told me to stay myself. When you think about the things that Johnny went through and then you see the things that he does on the field, it makes you forget about the things that's happening, and that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to make football be my getaway, and that's what he's done a great job of, and that's why I'm glad I've got a team like this because they allow me to let football be the get away because when I look in their eyes, they're like, we're ready to fight. That's what we've got to do as individuals. We've got to fight for the rest of our lives because life ain't fair. So we can't just sit there in all the circumstances and all the things that we go to. We've got to live our lives on a day‑to‑day basis. What's wrong with dreaming? I dream about this my whole life and I'm going to keep dreaming until the day I die. I can't let nothing in the past control my destiny because today, right now, in the present, Florida State Seminole quarterback, red‑shirt freshman, senior, nobody, red‑shirt, senior, we control our own destiny, and that's how I'm going to live my whole life, no matter what goes on, no matter what I go through, and that's how I expect everybody in this room to live, that's how I expect the coaches. If no one wants to set a certain standard for themselves, you don't have to. But one thing that Johnny did is he set a standard for himself. He's more focused on himself, more focused on the things that he do. That's why the guy went 30 for 38 against Duke and just ripped them apart and basically won that game by himself. That's why every day I come out here to play with my Seminoles because I know we're going to go out there and fight, we're going to control our own destiny and we're don't care about nothing else that's going on outside of this football team.
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