FSU has 3 winners of college football's top individual award
When Florida State emerged as a dominating force in college football in the 1980s, the Seminoles began
producing top talent. FSU has earned multiple national championships, produced many All-Americans
and three of their quarterbacks have been honored as Heisman Trophy winners.
Jameis Winston - 2013 Heisman Season
Winston burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman after the Seminoles had just lost QB E.J. Manuel to the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. With four TD passes in FSU's season-opening win over Pittsburgh, Winston quickly display top talent. By the end of the 2013 campaign, Winston had amassed 4,057 passing yards and 40 TDs vs. 10 Ints. Winston also rused for 193 yards and 4 more scores.
Under his direction, FSU marched through the season undefeated. On his 20th birthday, Winston guided FSU to a 34-31 victory over Auburn in the BCS Championship game.
Winston played one more season for FSU but was unable to
win consecutive Heisman Trophys. Winston was selected with
the first pick of the 2015 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay.
Chris Weinke - 2000 Heisman Season
Chris Weinke narrowly passed Oklahoma QB Josh Heupel for college football’s top award. Weinke set the passing standard in 2000 by leading the nation in passing yards and efficiency. The senior QB passed for 4,167 yards, 33 TDs and 11 Ints while leading the Seminoles to an 11-1 regilar season. The Florida State Heisman winner took a much different route than most players on their way to the bronze trophy. Before joining the Seminoles, Weinke spent six seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays' minor league system and advanced all the way to AAA.
When Weinke won the Heisman trophy at the age of 28, he became the oldest player to win the award. Following his Heisman Trophy winning season, Weinke was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Weinke was with the Panthers for multiple seasons and has spent the majority of the time backing up Jake Delhomme.
Charlie Ward - 1993 Heisman Season
When searching America for Heisman Trophy displays, the last place one might expect to find
one of the bronzed statues would be Thomasville, Georgia. However, Charlie Ward’s
Heisman not only resides in the small city, but in the humble setting of Thomasville’s public
library. The trophy’s location is a natural considering that Ward grew up in Thomasville
learning the “good book” and becoming a devout Christian.
Besides joining Christ’s team at an early age, Ward accepted Coach Bobby Bowden’s offer to attend FSU and play for two more. Instead of being pinned to one sport, Ward was welcome to play basketball and football for the Seminoles. Before earning FSU’s starting quarterback position in the fall of 1992, the Seminole guard had already led his basketball team to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 that spring.
As if taking a cue from the basketball court, Ward began engineering FSU’s potent “Fast Break” offense at peak efficiency. By the next season, Ward gained Heisman form and had the Seminoles scouting for a national title. Ward set the Seminole’s individual season mark that fall with 27 touchdown passes en-route to becoming FSU’s all-time offensive leader. Heisman voters took special interest when Ward’s stellar play helped the Seminoles bury their dreaded rival, the Miami Huricanes 28-10. Botched field goal attempts against Miami in the recent years had scalped FSU’s title hopes, but a Ward touchdown bomb and scoring run kept face out of a kicker’s hands.
FSU did slip slightly with a narrow loss at Notre Dame, but Ward solidified his Heisman stance with late season heroics. Ward threw four touchdown passes against Florida to shatter the Gator’s 23-game home winning streak and then directed FSU’s Orange Bowl win over No. 1 Nebrasksa.
Ward became the first Heisman Trophy winner to play for a national champion since Tony Dorsett suited up for Pittsburgh in 1976. Despite Ward earning the second largest Heisman voting victory margin at the time over Tennessee’s Heath Shuler, doubts about his NFL potential loomed.
Pro scouts weren’t completely sold on Ward’s 6-2, 190 pound frame faring well in the NFL. Ward had indicated he’d play football if drafted in the first round, but the NFL call never came. However, Ward’s fastbreak days would continue, after the NBA’s Knicks drafted ward in the first round of the league’s 1994 draft.