The 19-year-old footbal star became the second straight freshman to take home the most prestigious individual award with a performance so spectacular and dominant that even a criminal investigation couldn’t derail his candidacy.
“This Heisman isn’t just for Jameis Winston,” the winner said near the end of an emotional acceptance speech. “This is for Florida State. I love everybody in here. I’m so blessed right now. It means so much to me. But I got one thing to say: At Florida State, if we gonna do it then, we do it big then.”
He went on, adding: “I cannot explain the feeling that I have inside right now. I’m so overwhelmed. It’s awesome.”
The quaterback managed to score 668 first-place votes and 2,205 points. He finished 1,501 points ahead of his rival, AJ McCarron, for the seventh-largest margin of victory in the award’s, despite being left off 115 of the 900 ballots that were returned.
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch appeared to be third on the list of winners, managing to eclipse Boston College’s Andre Williams, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Auburn’s Tre Mason.
The happy winner is said to be the nation’s top-famous and extra-rated passer who has led the top-ranked Seminoles to a spot in the BCS championship game against No. 2 Auburn on Jan. 6.
The former Bessemer’s player demonstrated the whole nation that college football can look easy. On Labor Day night, on national television, Winston went 25 for 27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns in a victory at Pittsburgh.
“It was a brilliant debut that lived up to the offseason hype, when Winston wowed Florida State fans in the Seminoles’ spring football game and on the baseball diamond as a hard-throwing reliever and clutch-hitting outfielder,” writes Newser.
He had been nicknamed Famous Jameis before he ever played a college football game. And he quickly became one of the most beloved Seminoles since Charlie Ward, the 1993 Heisman winner.
Winston and Florida State were struggling for the win when news broke out about sexual assault complaint filed against the star in the Tallahassee Police Department last December.
The scandalous case was later directed to the state attorney’s office for a full and thorough investigation. A female student at Florida State accused Winston of rape. Winston’s attorney said the sex was consensual.
According to reports, investigators failed to obtain DNA from Winston or talk to witnesses including his roommate, who may have been present when the alleged assault took place.
“The victim was devastated when she learned late last week that the Tallahassee Police Department had informed Winston’s attorney as far back as February, which allowed him all of this time to create his defence and prepare his witnesses,” the statement said.
The Heisman Trust mission statement says: “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”