Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will likely be able to lay claim as a Heisman Trophy winner Saturday night.
Winston, the prohibitive favorite, and five other finalists are in New York City for the 79th Heisman Trophy ceremony to prepare for the announcement of college football’s most prestigious individual prize.
He is joined by Texas A&M’s reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, Maxwell Award-winner A.J. McCarron of Alabama, Boston College’s Andre Williams, Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch and Auburn’s Tre Mason.
But before attending the festivities surrounding the event, Winston finally broke his silence about his role in the investigation of an alleged sexual assault that occurred last December. No charges were filed against him, and Florida governor’s office says the case won’t be reopened.
“The thing about the investigation, I always respected the process,” Winston said (via USA TODAY Sports). “So by me being a football player, knowing my team needed me and them supporting me, I knew I had to focus on the future. But I also had to focus on my family with everything going on with the investigation, and I knew I did nothing wrong.”
Winston, a redshirt freshman, set ACC freshman records for the most yards passing (3,820) and touchdown passes (38) to lead the No. 1 Seminoles to a 13-0 record and a spot in the BCS championship game on Jan. 6 against Auburn.
If he wins, he would become the second freshman to win the trophy, along with Manziel, who became the first to do so last year.
WHAT: The 79th Heisman Trophy ceremony
WHERE: Downtown Athletic Club in New York
WHEN: 8 p.m.
FINALISTS: QB Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), QB Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), QB AJ McCarron (Alabama), QB Jameis Winston (Florida State), RB Andre Williams (Boston College), RB Tre Mason (Auburn)
Heisman Trophy Tales:
Want to know where the other 78 trophies are located?
Post sports reporter Kent Babb tracked down every Heisman trophy ever awarded (78) and tells the stories of each ones whereabouts in this interactive feature story.
Plus, Gene Wang sat down with Roger Staubach to talk about his Heisman-winning season at Navy 50 years ago.