Quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, issued a statement on Jan. 7 where he explained that he will leave Florida State and enter the NFL draft this spring.
"After weighing this decision with my family and friends, I have decided to declare for the 2015 NFL draft and forgo my remaining eligibility at Florida State," Winston said in the statement. "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 led the Seminoles to a National Championship last season and finished his career at FSU with a record of 26-1. His only loss came on Jan. 1, when the team lost to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
In his two seasons as a starting quarterback, Winston threw for 7,964 yards and 65 touchdown passes, which both rank fourth in college football since the beginning of 2013.
Focusing just on his qualities on the field, Winston could be the top prospect — even better than 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota. ESPN NFL draft insider Mel Kiper Jr. has Winston as the second best quarterback prospect in the draft behind Mariota, but other experts disagree.
“Jameis Winston, to me, is the better prospect," ESPN college football insider, Todd 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."
The off-field problems refer to rape allegations against Winston while he was with FSU. He was never charged. He was also suspended for one game this season for yelling inappropriate remarks in a campus dining area.
The 2015 NFL draft will take place in Chicago from April 30 through May 2.