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VIZIO BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: AUBURN v FLORIDA STATE


January 3, 2014


Jameis Winston


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Throughout the whole process, I was thinking, I can't wait till we can prepare for the championship game.  The best part is probably the food.  I got fat over there, enjoying everything that was going on.  My team was enjoying it, too.
It feels so good just to be back on the football field preparing to go play out in a game like this.

Q.  Did you play a football for a week?  What did you do during that time?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  When I went home, I threw the football.  Obviously, when I had came back home from New York, I threw a lot.  I mean, from Orlando, that week from the thing in Orlando to the thing in New York, the Heisman, I mean, it was fun, it was.
But at the end of the day, I'm a football player.  I'm not a superstar.  I'm not out there getting awards every day.  I need to play football.

Q.  When was the time you remember, I can see myself going here?  Do you remember when that became a reality?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I was there the first day, I was sitting where we were eating at.  I was just looking at the field, had no paint on the field.  I said, I can see myself on this field.  I was probably bragging, I can see myself throwing touchdowns on this field.  This is the place for me right here.
That was a dream come true now that I'm playing on this field.

Q.  What did Coach Fisher do to pluck you away from Alabama?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It was my decision.  It really was a decision about the draft, Florida State, Stanford in the mix.  I had LSU.  LSU had a good baseball team, too.
But Coach Fisher and Coach Craig, they just kept it real with me, laid out my foundation.  The baseball coaches told me, Hey, you can come do this, do that.  You don't have to worry about the draft, come here and prepare.  I was like, Hey, why not?  Florida State looking pretty right now.

Q.  Where was Texas in that?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Texas was my favorite time.  Through the whole recruiting process, I said to my coach, We got to get Texas on the phone.  When I was young, I looked up to Vince Young.  I always wanted to go to Texas, but the funny thing was I was an Oklahoma Sooners fan.  So when Oklahoma came, I was like, I'm an Oklahoma fan, but I really want to go to Texas.

Q.  How did that work out?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It didn't work out.  That's probably why I didn't get offered to Texas because I was an Oklahoma fan.  That whole thing.
Obviously I'm glad I'm here at Florida State.

Q.  Did you ever talk to Mack Brown?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Oh, yeah, I know.  I tried to call him a couple times because I really like Texas.

Q.  What was your relationship like with Coach Craig and what is it like now?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Me and Coach Craig really have a great relationship.  I'm not talking to him this week.  I deleted him on the phone this week so I wouldn't call him.  I called him and talked to him about everything.  Our relationship was great.
The way Coach Sanders came in and just took me away from Coach Craig and stuff like that.  Coach Craig is still one of the mentors in my life, like a father figure to me.  Through the whole recruiting process, we always had maintained a great relationship.
Coach Sanders, when you got a kid that's used to this and that.  He just comes in.  The first impression is always the best.  His first day in there, he's just like, Hey, JAMEIS, I don't care who you like, I'm your coach now.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Cameron is a beast, man.  Guys like him and Johnny Manziel, that makes me go out, You can do this.  Cam is obviously a freak.  Johnny is a freak.  Those guys influenced me to be better.  I want to be better than those guys.  I want to keep getting better so I'm the one that those guys talk about.
Cam went to Auburn.  Made me think about Auburn.  Cam left after the first year.

Q.  You mentioned Coach Craig in your Heisman Trophy speech.  Why?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  He's a father figure in my life.  We have a good relationship.  It's like me, Coach Craig, Coach Fisher, we developed that bond.  Me and Coach Craig was always the main thing.  This year when Coach Craig left towards the spring, Coach Fisher, he knew the relationship that Coach Craig and I had.  Coach Fisher took over that role.  Now Coach Fisher is my father figure.
That's one thing about Coach Fisher as a coach.¬† People talk about how he is on the practice field, how hard he is to help.¬† When he sees one of his players that actually need something in their life, the things he's going through we Ethan, he doesn't have to do anything like that for me or do anything like that.¬† But he makes that a motive in his day‑‑ to‑day like.¬† He's like JAMEIS, if you need to talk, come to my office and talk to me.¬† That really meant a lot to me.

Q.  What allows Coach Craig to have such a great relationship with players?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Similarities.  I mean he was a quarterback at Alabama.  He played at Auburn.  Just talking to him, meeting his family and everything, I see him as me.  When I grow up, I want to be like him.  Obviously, I want to be in the NFL longer.  When I grow up, I have to have somebody in my life.  He's a funny guy.  I love his family.  I call him Uncle Craig.  He's like one of my uncles, or something like that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That was real tough.

Q.  What day did you win the job of quarterback?  Did you celebrate?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't even remember the day.  I remember when Coach Fisher told me.  When he told me, I just was like, All right, so are you going to tell the media this?  What's going on?  He eventually told them.
When he told me, after I left his office, I left his office, went to the staircase, got down on my knees and started thanking God.
Other than when I was named a quarterback as a freshman, I was just like, I mean, It happened again.  Coach Fisher trusted me with his team.  I was like, Man, Coach Fisher trust me to be the quarterback of the Florida State Seminoles.
Someone else I look up to, E.J., like E.J. just had this team and Coach Fisher just gave this prize to me.  I was like, I got a lot of new toys to play with (laughter).

Q.  Even then, is he mature enough to put everything into this job, what did you have to do to prove?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I had to go play football.  Do what I do every day.  Obviously Jake, a tremendous quarterback.  Sean, he does some tremendous things, but Jake is amazing.  Jake can go to any college out there and play quarterback for them.  I think it was good competing against him.  Then having Clint, he can go anywhere because he's a great player.
Having to compete against Jake every single day, that got me ready for the season.  The position ain't yours.  Ain't nothing yours.  You got to go and get what you want.
Going to practice every day, I have to change the way I went through every day to show Coach Fisher, I'm here to make a statement, I'm here to compete.  I took that and ran with it because now every game I'm out here competing, acting like I'm competing against Jake every single game.  That's how it worked out.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No (laughter).  I ain't never.  You probably see it more in baseball because baseball, be some guys hitting bombs left and right.  That's wild.
I'm never going to look at somebody and say, I can't do that.  That's not the person that I am.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yeah, 'cause I believe if Jake were (indiscernible), we'd still be undefeated, and that's all I care about.  I would have found a way to get on that field, I promise you.

Q.  The concept of somebody being good enough having to wait three years.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It's just the way things are.  I really can't say anything on that because a lot of people have waited that long.  I don't want to be the new person that say, Hey, I play one more year and (indiscernible).  I did okay.
Even if I have a bad year or have an up‑year, I'm going to have the same compass, because that's just the way I am, but some people can't handle that.¬† Some people need people to love them to be successful.¬† That's something I look forward to.¬† I look forward to playing two more years here and having success.¬† If that's what I got to do to get people, especially scouts and NFL people, to see like, Hey, he's ready, I'll do anything to be on that level, Major League Baseball or an NFL player.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I got to get better at everything.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  The way Coach Fisher be talking to me, I don't know (laughter).

Q.  How realistic is it to play two professional sports at the highest level?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  You can do anything you put your mind do.  A lot of people are going to say, No way.  He's a quarterback.  Bo Jackson was a runningback.  The one thing I always seem to do is gain the trust of my teammates.  Even being in the NFL, if I can convince those guys I can be your quarterback, I can go play baseball for the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, I can't talk about that, because I'm living in the moment right now.
Bo Jackson, no one can beat Bo Jackson.  If the guy wouldn't have got hurt, he probably would be in the Hall of Fame in both baseball and football.

Q.  Given your relationship with Coach Craig, does it seem funny that he's concentrating on beating you and you're concentrating on beating him?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't think he's concentrating on beating me.  He's concentrating on beating Florida State.  I think he's concentrating on scoring points and on our defense.  Just like I'm not concentrating on beating him, because at the end of the day, win or lose, me and him are going to remain the tame.  He's going to be happy for me if we win.  I'm going to be happy for him if they win.

Q.  Describe the transition from baseball.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, anything about baseball right now, I promise you I don't have any ideas.  Right now I got one thing on my mind, win the national championship on Monday.  Tuesday comes, I be ready for it then.  I'm pretty sure Coach Mike Martin, he'll talk to me about it then.  I know he's not saying nothing about baseball to me right now.

Q.  A lot of Heisman Trophy winners have struggled in the bowl season.  The spotlight is on them.  Why do you think that is?  Do you think you can overcome it?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  One thing I can tell you about history, it's in the past.  I'm not worried about what history has said.  I'm worried about what's happening today, what's happening on Monday, what I got to do to prepare myself to do well in this game.
Whatever has happened, history said that a freshman can't win the Heisman Trophy last year, but Johnny Football did.  Never see another freshman win this award.  I did it this year.  History is history.  There's great people that played back then.  There's great people that did great things back then.  But right now we live in today.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm not even talking about that.  I'm playing football.  I'm worrying about winning the championship.

Q.  Have you ever played a game on your birthday, either football or baseball?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I think I played one in basketball actually.  I know I haven't played one in baseball.

Q.  Did you do well that game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I know I did well.  Trying to show out for everybody.

Q.  Talk about Coach Fisher maybe going to Texas, have you talked about that?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I messed with Coach Fisher about that.  Coach Fisher and me not worried about that.  We're worried about winning the national championship.

Q.  You're going to ask him if you can go?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  He's my coach.  He's my head coach.  We're not worried about that.  We want to win a national championship game.  If you ask Coach Fisher that, he's going to say, We're worried about winning the national championship.

Q.  (Question regarding Kenny Shaw.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  This is their year.  They're seniors.  They're Coach Fisher's first class.  For them to be in the national championship.  There's not only just Kenny, like Demonte McAllister, people don't look at him.  Tillman, Jonah, it's important, to me, for all those guys.

Q.  Kenny, as far as the presence he's had on the field.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  He catches everything that comes his way.  Obviously I'm going to miss that guy.
Travis Rudolph just came in, that's a new toy.  We have Scooter Haggins, he's coming back off of injuries, that's a new toy.
We can't look towards the past.  Obviously I'm going to miss them.  He's going to have a great future in the NFL, do great things.  It's going to break up the trio, but hopefully we can have a new trio.
Kenny, KB, and Rashad.¬† It's hard.¬† We might have three wide receivers that break that thousand‑yard mark.¬† I don't know when that's been done in history.¬† I look forward to that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† The Alabama game.¬† The Alabama game is going to be something that is going to stick with the Alabama fans, the Auburn fans.¬† Down 21‑0 at halftime.¬† He came back at beat Alabama at Alabama.¬† C'mon, man.¬† Only Cam can do that.¬† Yes, we can.¬† Only Cam can do that.¬† When you look at the team Cam had that year, he did this all in one year.¬† That was the amazing part.¬† He beat Alabama.
I was sitting in the stands when he did that.  You should have heard how many people was downing him.  That's one thing growing up in Alabama.  Alabama fans, Auburn fans, even though my mama was like, You're an Auburn fan.  I'm like, Mama, I'm not either one.
Seeing him do that, it was amazing.  It's funny seeing how Alabama and Auburn fans react after that game.  It's the funniest thing in the world.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm going to be able to say I'm a champion.  That's the most important part.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Just because, I mean, my mama was a child of 13.  She was the youngest.  She was the only person in her family to be an Auburn fan.  All my uncles were Alabama fans.  When you're born in that state, you have to be either this or that.  Obviously when I first started football, Oklahoma winning, Boomer Sooner baby.  I just roll with that.

Q.  (Question regarding Devonta Freeman.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't think a lot of people notice Devonta Freeman, James Wilder, or Carlos Williams.  Carlos Williams, this is his first year at Auburn.  He can be one of the most dynamic backs in the country.  He runs a 4.3.  He's 220.  He's 6'2".
Devonta, he's been looked over ever since high school.  Florida State was his only big time offer, him being from Miami Central.  That's why Devonta plays every game with the amount of heart and dedication he does every day.

Q.  You mention all the weapons you guys have.  When Auburn was in here, people were talking about all the close games they had.  Did you feel with all the talent we have, you were meant to end up in this game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yes, because we prepared, we did the things that we did.  We weren't going to be stopped.  Before we played Clemson, before we played Florida, before we played Miami, we put together the team.  I said, Guys, where in the rule book does it say we can't blow out everybody that we play?  We took that mentality and ran with it.
The NCAA has all these rules, but it does not say you cannot blow out everybody you play.  That's the mentality we took.
Obviously, this is going to be a real tough game for us because Auburn holds the ball all the time with their dynamic running game.  Guys, where in the rule book still does it say that we can't blow out everybody we play.  In the championship game, Alabama blew out Notre Dame in the championship game last year.
We can do anything we want to do.

Q.  When in the season did that start?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It started in the spring.  I told them, Guys, why can't we blow out the other teams today?  Obviously, we were running.  People were talking about who won that game, but I know we won.  I know if I stayed in the game, we would have put up about 60.

Q.  Were you even concerned about the score of the spring game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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