Entering the 2014 season, it was given amongst many in and around the college football scene that this would be Jameis Winston‘s final year at the collegiate level. Exiting it, the whispers have grown louder that there’s more than a slim chance he’ll eschew early entry into the draft.
For those wondering, your wait will last at least a week longer.
According to ESPN.com, the Florida State quarterback’s father stated his son will not make a decision on his football future until after the Ohio State-Oregon College Football Playoff championship game. That game will be played next Monday night, Jan. 12, in Arlington.
The NFL’s deadline for submitting early-entry paperwork for all draft-eligible players is Jan. 15.
Should Winston ultimately opt to make the early leap, he’s widely considered, along with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, to be one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft. How the off-field side of Winston is viewed by NFL personnel departments will decide where he goes in the draft, whether he enters it this year or in 2016. Or even in 2017 as he has two years of eligibility remaining.
In mid-December, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said “it would not shock me either way” when asked which direction the talented signal-caller’s future would take. A couple of days later, Fisher seemed to hint that a return was certainly viable.
In seven days or so, we should all have an answer.
UPDATED 2:13 p.m. ET: Has Jameis Winston‘s decision already been made? A short time ago, Winston teammate P.J. Williams took to Twitter to announce that he was leaving Florida State early for the NFL. Prior to that, though, the following took place, which seems to indicate the school already knows which direction Winston will go.
From the Tallahassee Democrat:
Almost 20 minutes before Williams tweeted his announcement, FSU director of compliance Derrick Coles tweeted and quickly deleted: “Congrats to my bros @PjWilliams_26 @Jaboowins @RioBoi_17 !!!! Im proud of yall!!!” sending congrats to Williams, quarterback Jameis Winston and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.