Jameis Winston is turning pro.
Antonor Winston, the dad of Florida State’s Heisman Trophy winner, told ESPN.com that his son is heading to the NFL, which Winston confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
“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. 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 just completed his redshirt sophomore season, making him eligible for this spring’s draft.
Winston’s dad “said his son planned to wait” until after the College Football Playoff national championship to announce his decision but instead, but had decided by Tuesday night.
Winston had a spectacular freshman season in leading the Seminoles to the 2013 national title, with 4,057 yards, 40 TDs and 10 interceptions, but he was plagued by off-the-field incidents throughout his career.
His stats fell to 3,907 yards, 25 TDs and 18 interceptions this year, but will finish his career with a 26-1 record as a starter.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. rates Winston as the second-best QB in this year’s draft, behind Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
Winston has the intangibles — size, arm strength, poise under pressure — of an NFL QB, but his character issues worry NFL teams, NFL.com wrote last week.
Winston remains the most pro-ready passer in college football. He is an exceptional pocket passer with big-time talent and valuable experience in a pro system. Winston plays the game in a style that translates easily to the next level; coaches can project how he will play in their system and quickly craft plans to get him on the field quickly as a pro. Although his character issues will raise red flags in most meeting rooms, there is no doubt in my mind that he is the better prospect right now.