by Dave Miller
June 19, 02014
ACC fans outside of Tallahassee may not like it, but Jameis Winston could shred the defenses of their favorite schools beyond the 2014 season.
US PRESSWIREWill Jameis Winston be in Tallahassee in 2015?
Winston's father, Antonor, told AL.com that the expectations remain for the defending Heisman Trophy winner to play two more seasons of football with Jimbo Fisher's Seminoles.
"We want Jameis to succeed with one more year in baseball and two more years in football," Antonor said. "We've never strayed from our plan that he is going to be in college until he gets that degree."
If Winston stays on his current academic path, his father expects him to graduate in December 2015.
Winston became just the second redshirt freshman ever to claim the Heisman last season en route to leading the 'Noles to an undefeated season and the final BCS national championship over Auburn. He threw for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns while adding over 200 yards and four scores on the ground.
Of course, it's not uncommon for players or members of their family to insist that an early move to the professional level — if being a high draft selection is likely — is not of primary concern. Some NFL Draft experts believe Winston would have been a first-round selection if he were eligible for this past May's draft. Blake Bortles of Central Florida ultimately was the first signal-caller selected.
The 20-year-old Winston, who endured a sexual assault allegation that didn't result in any charges as well as a civil citation after walking out of a market without paying for crab legs and crawfish, also plays baseball for the 'Noles. This season he went 1-0 with a team-best 1.08 ERA, and he has a chance to be a first-round selection in the 2015 MLB Draft.
If the 2015 NFL Draft were to take place today, these would be my Top 8 eligible signal-callers:
1. Oregon's Marcus Mariota
2. Florida State's Jameis Winston
3. Baylor's Bryce Petty
4. UCLA's Brett Hundley
5. Oregon State's Sean Mannion
6. Stanford's Kevin Hogan
7. Arizona State's Taylor Kelly
8. Utah State's Chuckie Keeton
Will Winston be in the draft mix next year, or will his family's academic plan win out? Based on his high level of play in his first season as a starter and his expected improvement (scary thought) in Fisher's sophisticated offense, it would be tough to bypass NFL riches after this coming season.
Dave Miller, the college football editor and writer for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.