Florida State Seminoles sophomore quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston will reportedly declare for the 2015 NFL draft, per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora.
Jameis Winston is reportedly declaring for the 2015 NFL draft.
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CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora broke the news on Oct. 19:
"Some have suggested that Florida State star quarterback Jameis Winston might drop out of school as a way to avoid the institution's investigation into prior sexual assault charges brought against him, as well as an inquiry into whether he violated NCAA rules for being compensated for autographs, but several sources close to him said that is in no way a consideration.
"Winston intends to fight vigilantly to maintain his innocence in both instances, however, given the current state of his relationship with the upper reaches of FSU, it has become a certainty he will declare for the NFL Draft. Winston led the Seminoles to a wild win vs. Notre Dame Saturday night to preserve their national title hopes.
"These same sources said a few weeks back that Winston was torn as to his future, pointing to how much he loved playing football and baseball in college, and at the time they suggested that only if the team was still undefeated deep into the season and Winston having a superb season would he leave. Now, however, in the face of the multiple investigations into him, and what has become an adversarial relationship with school officials (excluding coach Jimbo Fisher and key members of the athletic department) it is virtually certain Winston is declaring no matter what happens in the second half of the season.
"Fisher has faced pressure from above to further suspend Winston (he missed a game earlier this season after shouting an obscenity on campus), but has steadfastly resisted, sources said, with Winston adamant he did not acceot money in exchange for autographs. No charges were pressed regarding the allegations made against him by a fellow student and Winston has denied any wrongdoing regarding that as well.
"'There is no upside in waiting to go to the NFL now, after all of this,' one source said.
"Despite all that's swirling around him, Winston could still well end up being a top 10 pick."
In other news, Florida State Seminoles head football coach Jimbo Fisher told AL.com's Solomon Crenshaw, Jr. on Oct. 20 that he will discipline Winston -- who is embroiled in an autograph-for-money scandal -- "if the facts change":
"Fisher has faced criticism for steadfastly backing Winston through the saga surrounding Florida State's handling of the charges that the quarterback sexually assaulted a student in 2012, and more recently amid the investigation into whether Winston took money for signing thousands of memorabilia items.
"In town to speak to the Monday Morning Quarterback Club at the Harbert Center downtown, Fisher said he'd be willing to discipline Winston 'if the facts change.'
"'I base my decisions on the facts,' he said. 'If the facts change, we change whatever goes on. But we believe in everything so far and we have no reason not to.'
"Fisher also said no date has been set for the pending student judiciary hearing over whether Winston may have committed as many as four violations of FSU's student conduct policy for actions during the alleged sexual assault.
"'They'll have to set the date for that and it'll be through our administration and their lawyers,' he said.
"Fisher's remarks came about an hour after he refused to answer reporters' questions about Winston. For almost two minutes, the FSU coach calmly addressed football-related questions, including the controversial pass interference call against Notre Dame in the final moments of the No. 2-ranked Seminoles' 31-27 (win).
"'We run trick plays (but) we don't teach them like that.'
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"But Fisher became visibly annoyed when asked for any updates on Winston. He said he believed such questions would be off limits (reporters had made no such agreement), then ended the interview."