Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/14/14
Florida State’s Jameis Winston is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. (Photo: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports) Florida State’s freshman quarterback is a legitimate contender to win the Heisman Trophy Ranked sixth in the country in both major polls, Florida State is 5-0 for a second straight season with perhaps its toughest test looming in less than two weeks at Clemson. The Seminoles are coming off of their most impressive victory of the season, a 63-0 victory over Maryland, thanks not only to a stellar defensive effort, but to a freshman quarterback that is turning heads from across the country. At a media event prior to the season, Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston made a joke about getting “Johnny Manziel Disease” referring to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s off-the-field antics this summer that got the reigning Heisman Trophy winner kicked out of the Manning camp, out of a University of Texas frat party and nearly ruled ineligible by the NCAA. While nothing that Winston has done off the field has been able to draw much scrutiny, Winston may still have “Johnny Manziel Disease” after all as the FSU signal-caller looks to become the second freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in as many years. Whether or not Winston is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate is no longer in question. In Saturday’s 63-0 pounding of Maryland, Winston finished 23-for-32 passing for 393 yards and five touchdowns, his second performance with at least five total touchdowns this season and third with at least four. In each of the last three weeks, Florida State’s talented freshman has thrown a touchdown of the highlight reel variety. Three weeks ago against Bethune-Cookman, Winston escaped multiple defenders before firing a touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin while slipping to the grass. Last week against Boston College, Winston broke free from two potential sacks to find Kenny Shaw in the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown on the final play of the first half. And on Saturday, Winston once again eluded pressure, breaking tackles and rolling right to throw a perfect strike to tight end Nick O’Leary in the corner of the end zone. Winston however, is more than just the plays that make highlight shows. In fact, Winston has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the country week in and week out. Winston is also the only player in the country to rank in the top five nationally in touchdown passes, completion percentage, yards-per-attempt and passer rating. On the season, Winston has 17 touchdown passes and 19 total touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. Winston ranks just 21st in the country in passing yards, but that is largely due to Florida State’s lopsided victories. The Seminoles’ five wins have come by nearly 42 points-per-game. When Winston plays into the fourth quarter however, the Florida State freshman is averaging 360 passing yards-per-game which would rank fifth in the country. The biggest knock on Winston’s Heisman campaign will be the competition that he has seen thus far, but Florida State’s biggest tests lie in the final half of the season. With games against undefeated teams in Clemson and Miami upcoming not to mention the regular season finale against a Florida team that seems to be finding its identity and perhaps even an ACC title game, the freshman from Alabama will certainly have the platform to make his case for the most coveted individual award in sports. But while the Seminoles have not yet faced the stiffest of competition, it is worth noting that four of the five teams that FSU has faced thus far have winning records and the other is a 3-3 Nevada squad. Big expectations have followed Jameis Winston since his commitment to Florida State, but through five games, Winston has even exceeded those. But while high completion percentages, multiple touchdown performances and highlight reel passes have become routine for Winston, Florida State’s toughest contests are ahead. Legendary Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes once said, “anything easy ain’t worth a damn” and the same will be true if Winston is to become the third Florida State quarterback to take home the Heisman Trophy. Related Articles Florida State Football: Defense Rises to the Occasion vs. Terps Maryland-Florida State: Saturday’s keys to Seminole success Florida State Football: Maryland game preview
PLAYERS: Jameis Winston
TEAMS:
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants dethrone Royals in Game 1 of World Series

Devils winger sends zinger about nasty facial cuts

Wife of Royals pitcher leaves World Series ticket as tip

Report: Chandler Jones to miss a month with hip injury

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due to Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

Report: Back injury could end Nathan Horton's career

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge' and 'sizzle'

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

College football's post-Week 8 Playoff projection

Seminoles News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.