“You wanna get to Jameis, you gotta go through me first!” – Jimbo Fisher.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed that he and his office had been contacted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about former QB Jameis Winston ahead of the NFL draft.
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In a phone interview on NFL Network’s “NFL AM,” the FSU head coach said that members of the Seminoles staff had received calls from people within the Buccaneers organization inquiring about the 2014 Heisman Trophy winning QB.
As far as the number of teams that have called about Winston – with at least five teams picking in the top 10 of the draft starving for a franchise QB – Fisher said the number was smaller than expected.
“Not as many as you’d think right now,” Fisher said. “It’s just now starting, and our pro day’s in another month (March 31). I think in this month, we’ll get bombarded. But we’ve got quite a few (prospects).”
As a redshirt freshman for the Seminoles in 2013, Winston led FSU to an undefeated season and won the Heisman Trophy en route to a National Championship win over the Auburn Tigers. The following season, Winston struggled but stayed undefeated for eleven regular season games (missing one for a suspension) and winning FSU’s 3rd straight ACC conference title, but lost to Oregon in the 2015 Rose Bowl Game.
“Jameis’ problem, if you really research and really get down to the nuts and bolts of what actually went wrong – with him standing on the table (that led to his suspension) and the crab leg (shoplifting) incident – when you walk out of a place with a deputy sheriff beside you, it was not intent,” Fisher said. “It was a mental lapse. What Jameis does, which is very unique and a lot of people follow him — he was just being a normal student. He was trying to do what the other kids around him were [doing], and it was very immature.
“It was an immature thing to do, not an intentional thing to do with malice. He sees himself with everybody. He doesn’t put himself above everybody; that’s why, I think, people flock to him, and his leadership is such a big deal. Because he is a genuine, honest people person, and he gets caught up. I think he understood that. It was a moment of him being 19 years old and making a critical mistake. But I think those mistakes are very easily corrected. Character issues are different, and I don’t think he has those.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who finished with the NFL’s worst record in 2014, hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft and are expected by most to use the pick on a QB – be it Jameis Winston or Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. ESPN analyst Todd McShay proposed giving Winston the highest grade for any QB prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012.