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The top 100 FSU football players: No. 4— quarterback Jameis Winston

He made the impossible true.

BCS National Championship - Florida State v Auburn Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Ok let’s run this down —

In two seasons Jameis Winston went undefeated against Florida State’s rivals, undefeated at home, undefeated on the road, won two ACC championships, became the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, quarterbacked the highest-scoring offense of all time and won a national championship, breaking a streak of seven straight titles by SEC teams. He had the best statistical season for any FSU quarterback ever, helped engineer one of the longest winning streaks in college football history, is the first and only FSU No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick, and he did all of it while also playing baseball (and pitching an ERA of 1.94) and only losing one final game on the gridiron.

Despite playing in just 27 games and in an offense arguably more complex than some NFL teams, Winston passed for 65 touchdowns and nearly 8,000 yards, and rushed for another 284 yards and seven touchdowns. His 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2013 set ACC and NCAA FBS freshman records and earned him a consensus All-American nod.

All of the other accolades followed: a two-time ACC first team selection; the ACC Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Athlete of the Year; the Associated Press and Sporting News’ Player of the Year; and winner of the Walter Camp, Manning, Davey O’Brien, and Archie Griffin Awards.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane:

His historic debut as a redshirt freshman against the Pittsburgh Panthers where he went 25 of 27 for 356 yards with four passing touchdowns and another one on the ground:

Three games later Winston found more magic and wide receiver Kenny Shaw for a 55-yard touchdown against the Boston College Eagles, a play that was ranked as the 82nd best play in school history:

The very next week Winston would again channel Houdini and escape against Maryland and find tight end Nick O’Leary for yet another touchdown:

Next up was a showdown with No. 3 Clemson, memorialized here by ESPN radio host Jeff Cameron:

Winston and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin would strike first with our 99th best play in Seminole history:

Winston would also find Rashad Greene for a 72-yard touchdown that was named the 36th best play in FSU history, and FSU would give Clemson its worst home loss in program history.

After also crushing North Carolina State on the back of five first quarter touchdowns, Winston and the ’Noles would expose No. 7 Miami for the pretenders they were:

Winston then hurdled Duke for a blowout ACC Championship win, ACC Championship Game MVP, and a berth in the national championship game.

At the Rose Bowl against Auburn, Winston helped engineer a second half comeback for the ages. Down four with just 71 seconds left and nearly 70 yards from goal, Winston found Greene again for 49-yards, our 12th best play ever. Then, with just thirteen seconds left, Winston found Benjamin in the end zone and secured FSU’s third national championship.

That play would be named 2nd in our countdown of the top 100 plays in school history.

The following season Winston had his share of struggles, but FSU again went undefeated in the regular season. He still had some highlights up his sleeves, including our 92nd best play ever as he hurdled Oklahoma State in the 2014 opener. He would also throw the most insane and improbable touchdown ever to wide receiver Ermon Lane in what would for a short time be the greatest comeback win in Seminole history. The ’Noles would eventually fall in the playoffs, bringing their streak of 29 straight wins to an end.

Winston would forego his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL Draft, where he would be selected No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has set numerous NFL and franchise records.


If you could rank FSU’s three Heisman winners, how would you do it?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    1. Ward 2. Weinke 3. Winston
    (207 votes)
  • 2%
    1. Weinke 2. Ward. 3. Winston
    (40 votes)
  • 27%
    1. Winston 2. Ward. 3. Weinke
    (451 votes)
  • 6%
    1. Winston 2. Weinke 3. Ward
    (102 votes)
  • 33%
    1. Ward 2. Winston. Weinke
    (542 votes)
  • 2%
    1. Weinke 2. Winston 3. Ward
    (45 votes)
  • 15%
    Who cares they’re all great and the order doesn’t matter
    (248 votes)
1635 votes total Vote Now