No one has meant more to their team as an individual than Jameis Winston has to the Florida State Seminoles. Winston may just be 19 years old, may just be a redshirt freshman and may not have been completely on the radar at the start of the year, but the quarterback is now the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and he deserves every bit of the honor.
Coming into this college football season, the preseason polls had the Seminoles ranked outside of the top 10 in both the AP Top 25 and the coaches’ poll from USA Today. Now that the regular season is wrapped up, though, Winston and the Noles are headed to Pasadena for a spot in the National Championship. That wouldn’t be the case if it weren’t for Winston.
Perhaps Winston’s best attribute, particularly in comparison to the other five finalists for the award, is the simple fact that he led his team to a perfect, unblemished season. A.J. McCarron, Johnny Manziel, Tre Mason, Andre Williams and Jordan Lynch all failed to add that to their resumé.
More than just team success, though, Winston has the numbers on his side. Winston finished the year with the eighth most passing yards in all of college football with 3,820. In comparison, though, he, Manziel and Bryce Petty were the only three quarterbacks in the top 10 in passing yards to have fewer than 400 passing attempts on the year, with Winston having the fewest at 349 and Johnny Football coming in with 391.
Winston also completed a solid 67.9 percent of his passes this season, the 12th best completion percentage in the country. Moroever, Winston also finished the year with 38 touchdown passes on the year, second only to Derek Carr. Throw in his four touchdowns on the ground as well and it’s clear that the overall production was there.
Going even beyond the overall numbers, though, Winston’s consistency this season was remarkable. Winston threw for 200 yards in all but three games this season and threw for 300 yards seven times. Winston also threw for two touchdowns in all but one game this season. There’s no game you can point to and say that Winston wasn’t the clear leader of this FSU team.
You can bring up whatever you want to detract from Winston’s season all you want. You can talk about how he was aided by FSU’s elite defense, how he didn’t have a “Heisman moment” or whatever else, but when it comes down to it, Winston was the only choice for the trophy that made sense.