Tell the truth, Southeastern Conference fans; do you really have a valid reason for all the animosity you’ve shown towards Florida State University’s uber-star quarterback Jameis Winston?

It can’t be from his numerous off-field transgressions, can it?

Sure his alleged involvement in a sexual assault seems kind of murky, so does his shoplifting of soda and crab legs — in addition to the BB gun and meme incidents — but are those out of the norm from what we see in our own beloved SEC?

Think about it, should fans from a program like, for example, the University of Georgia have any kind of disdain for someone, or a particular program, with a few off-field mishaps?

The answer is an emphatic NO!

Players all over the SEC have been involved in a laundry list of off-the-field problems — and that’s just this season — so it would be a severe case of kettle meeting pot.

No wait, is it the fact that he helped put the mighty Florida State back on the map?

I admit, their fans can be a bit unbearable at times as they pretend the previous decade didn’t exist, but there are fan bases just like that in the SEC; fans are going to be fans, no matter the location.

Ok, I get it; it’s FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher and his perceived propensity for riding with the troops no matter the circumstance.

Well as someone who played ball, sign me up for that anytime. There’s nothing worse than a coach who listens to outside noise and will throw you under the bus the minute the wind blows in a different direction.

The fact that he supports his players publicly doesn’t mean he doesn’t discipline them privately. Some coaches appear to be pushovers privately and don’t command necessary respect so they have to flex their muscles to the media. (**CoughUGAMarkRichtCough**)

The bottom line is Winston is just a 20-year-old kid who still has a ton of time to mature. You hear that?


I bet if we were to open up your closet we’d expose some serious skeletons from your adolescence as well. That goes for you, me and the rest of the media who likes to display a holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to these kids.

It’s time to judge these players by what they do between those white lines and stop playing the whole self-righteous role.

Because when it comes down to it, there’s nobody in the country with the type of talent Winston has shown over the past couple of seasons and we shouldn’t let feelings get in the way of what the real story is.

This kid is the truth.

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If you’ve followed my career as a writer, you know that I’m as unbiased as it gets as I truly call it as I see it (which might be the reason why I have no friends…). But make no mistake about it; I’m an unabashed supporter of anything dealing with Nick Saban (HC of Alabama) or Bill Belichick (New England Patriots fame).

Those two are the preeminent minds in all of defensive football, which is where my background is rooted in. Their philosophies and command on defense makes their offensive hires that much more important.

To this day, Fisher remains the best offensive coordinator Saban has had when the pair were ripping up the SEC at Louisiana State University from 2000-04. Fisher’s pro-style philosophy challenged QBs to learn the nuances of the position by operating from under center with three-, five- and seven-step drops to targets running the full NFL route tree.

QBs work from multiple alignments: conventional, Shotgun and even in the Pistol.

The NFL has undoubtedly taken notice as Fisher has had three of his QBs get drafted in the first round: JaMarcus Russell (Oakland Raiders), Christian Ponder (Minnesota Vikings) and E.J. Manuel (Buffalo Bills).

But Winston is by far the best of the bunch, which is saying a lot.

Winston’s The Complete Package

The hype that preceded Winston’s arrival to Tallahassee was pretty phenomenal. Coming out of Hueytown, Ala., the 6’4″, 230-pound signal-caller could’ve virtually went anywhere he wanted to, with the exception of the University of Texas, but honed in early on Florida State thanks, in part, to the dynamic recruiting skills of former assistant coach Dameyune Craig (Auburn).

While he was billed as a dual-threat athlete, it’s clear when you watch him that he should’ve been considered a pocket passer during the evaluation process. That’s not to say he’s not a good athlete, although I don’t believe he’s as good of an athlete as people make him out to be, it’s merely shedding light that we are dealing with more of an Andrew Luck-type (Indianapolis Colts) QB opposed to a Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins).

Winston’s best attribute, without a doubt, is his brain (I can hear you snickering just reading that). He has an uncanny ability to assimilate information and concepts and deliver on it.

You can tell that Fisher is a stickler for detail as Winston’s mechanics are grade A; he’s very quick with his drop phase and knows how to transfer his weight upon launch.

His accuracy is superb and is derived from an over-the-top delivery much like Luck has. He can throw on the run and has great arm strength to make every NFL-type throw in the book.


Here we see Winston doing something most QBs don’t — looking off safeties to ensure favorable coverage. He’s great with the nuances of the position, which are intangibles you won’t hear most critics express.


When FSU faces Oregon in the opening round of the College Football Playoffs, Winston will be going against a defense which lauds itself on multiplicity. But his understanding of both defensive and offensive concepts may be the difference in a potential Seminole victory.

Above, he knew that this defense would rotate into a two-deep look at the onset of the snap and the safety would more than likely assist with the 9-route ran by the Z-receiver; he put the ball right where it needed to be.

His stats from his Heisman-winning season were down right ridiculous: 4,057 yards, 40 touchdowns, 10 interceptions with a 66.9 completion percentage. While Winston deserved all the praise he generated, there’s no overlooking how much offensive talent was on that national championship team.

While this team is certainly loaded, the offensive line and defensive unit have been very mistake prone this season, which has led to Winston believing he has to be Superman on just about every play.


And sometimes he does resemble Superman, like with his strength in the above sequence.

While his statistical output has been critiqued (3,559 yards, 24 TDs, 17 INTs, 65.4 completion), it can be argued that the degree of difficulty being heightened makes his season just as spectacular — which is not lost on Fisher.

“In the NFL it’s funny, you get, ‘Well, this guy’s got 30 fourth-quarter comebacks, this guy’s got 35 fourth-quarter comebacks,'” Fisher expressed (per Natalie Pierre of “… We reward NFL guys. This guy [Winston] took us five times this year in the fourth quarter and did that.

“To me, what you saw out of him was when things didn’t go well around him, he still has a switch to flip – which all great ones do – ‘give me the ball’ and he’ll find ways to win.”

And with a 26-0 record as a starter, his status as a winner is undeniable. He’s racked up numerous awards and has help to restore FSU back to its rightful place among the elite of college football.

And all you can talk about are a few transgressions from a kid who has yet to reach 21?

C’mon, man!

Stop the hate and give this kid the credit he deserves for being a potential once-in-a-generation talent who will undoubtedly blow up the NFL with his already polished skill set. Once Winston matures, we will be looking at the next Peyton Manning or Luck.

And that’s truly all that matters.