Jameis Winston has officially declared for the NFL Draft after releasing a statement to ESPN detailing his decision.
Winston has enjoyed two successful seasons in college football with the Florida State Seminoles, winning a National Championship last season. The Heisman Trophy followed, and although this season has been less successful for Winston, he is still expected to go high in the NFL Draft.
This is one of the reasons why he has made this decision and decided to forgo his remaining two years. Winston admits the decision was tough and he thanked coach Jimbo Fisher for helping improve at the Seminoles.
"I reached this very difficult decision after careful consideration and long thought, realizing how difficult it would be to say goodbye to my family at Florida State. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to wear the garnet and gold and have greatly enjoyed my time as a Seminole, both as an athlete and a student in the classroom," Winston revealed.
"To the coaching staff and especially Coach Fisher, I am forever grateful for the ways you developed me as a player and a person as I have grown over the years. I knew I made the right decision to come to Florida State four years ago and couldn't be happier with this choice as I write this today."
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Jameis Winston's father was the first person to break the news, before Winston himself followed that revelation up with a statement.
Original stories out of the Winston camp earlier this week seemed to suggest that the Seminoles signal-caller would wait to make a decision until after the College Football Playoff National Championship between Ohio State and Oregon this weekend.
Winston's father speaks out
But, according to his father, Winston received a first-round grade from the NFL Draft advisory committee. With this in mind, it's clear to see why the former Heisman Trophy winner wanted to try and find his place in and amongst the NFL's elite. And ESPN's Todd McShay thinks Winston has a higher value than fellow Heisman winner, Marcus Mariota.
"[Florida State quarterback] Jameis Winston, to me, is the better prospect,'' McShay said. "Marcus Mariota is still a very good prospect but needs developing. They both have a chance to be great. But they both come with red flags. Winston's red flags are off the field.''
Will Winston be an NFL success?
To say that Winston has had a successful college career would be an understatement. Florida State's Rose Bowl Game loss to the Oregon Ducks was Winston's first defeat as a college player.
But Winston has a knack for getting into trouble, and McShay believes this could still damage his NFL Draft stock somewhat.
"The cons about Jameis Winston are what are you getting with maturity and with the individual off the field? Can he stay out of trouble? And can he handle himself in a manner where you feel comfortable giving him $25 million or $30 million and tagging him from Day 1 as the face of your franchise? It's hard, man. I don't know the answer right now," he said.