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VIZIO BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: AUBURN v FLORIDA STATE


January 4, 2014


Jameis Winston


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

JAMEIS WINSTON:  Good morning!

Q.  How excited are you about all this?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Very excited.  Very excited to be a Seminole, very exited to be in the National Championship.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Nobody.  I wasn't a fan of either.  If you are not an Alabama, Auburn fan your best option is not to root for anybody.

Q.  What does all this mean to you?  You're in your freshman year, you have done well this year.  What does all this mean to you?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It means a lot to me, just because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Not many times you get to play with the team you are playing with and obviously being in a National Championship in beautiful California.  It's an amazing experience.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Great guy.  Great athlete, great quarterback, he does some great things.  When you see why the Auburn offense works, it's because he's a great quarterback.

Q.¬† Jameis you talked in the past about‑‑ (Away from mic.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Coach Craig is like an uncle to me, especially coming to Florida State.  He's a great guy.  I love him and his family.  It's a genuine love, it's not the type of saying "I love you" but I can look that man in the eyes and say "I love you.

Q.  Have you talked to him?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yeah, I talk to him just not this week.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Because we were similar in everything, he probably been through everything that I been through.  He knew about the whole college experience and at one point in time he was on top.
He helped me handle everything and prepared me for the situations that I am in now.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  We are going to play better!  We lookin' for a football game, we not lookin' for a game that we go out there and blow everybody out.  Ain't nothing wrong with blowing everybody out but we looking for a football game and we expect Auburn to give us one.

Q.  What do you think about Auburn?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  The intensity they play with, they think they can do anything.  "I" teams believe we can do anything.  When you beat Alabama it give you a whole different mentality and they playing with a championship on their shoulder and they got a lot to prove and we know we have to prove something, everybody saying we have to face an SEC team but Auburn plays with a championship on their shoulder and they're good.

Q.  How ready are you to get back out on the field?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm more than ready because the football field is where I do my thing.  I'm not the best talker, not the best commentator or anything like that but the football field is where I do all my work.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, yeah, it would mean a lot to me just to win anyway.  Doesn't matter about being from Alabama or doing anything like that.  It matters that my team goes out there and plays our best and wins.  Of course it would mean a lot to me to beat a home state team.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† That's one of the key assets to Auburn's defense.¬† They're amazing when it comes to that part.¬† They play physical.¬† I know, LaDarius Owen, that's one of my good friends, is on the front four and I played against him in high school in D‑4, he's a fourth man, they have three‑‑ guys, No. 1, No. 90, No. 98.¬† Just watching them guys gets me excited, it's going to be exciting because it's going to be a great game and challenge my offensive line.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Of course this they tell me do what you do and let your team do your work.  I got a lot of play makers around me and they have been playing great this year and there is no reason to change anything, it's a football game, yes, it's the National Championship game but it's a football game and we still have to do it big.

Q.¬† The off‑the‑field issues that have gotten complected with your story this year, is that just what goes along with a college program with athletes sometimes?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Of course you know adversity might come but adversity brought our team closer together and helped us get back on the train tracks and start chugging some more and keep going through that situation, to me, helped bring us closer together and get where we are now.

Q.  Do you think you have been unfairly portrayed?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I can't control other peoples moves.

Q.  Countdown to cook off, are you ready to play this game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  More than ready.

Q.  You were out here for the elite 11.  Are you having as much fun this time?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Everywhere I go I have fun.

Q.  You carry yourself that way and you exude confidence, does the team feed off the confidence that you have?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Of course.  We got a lot of other guys on that bring a lot of energy to the team.  But its always good to see the quarterback bring a lot of energy and always having a smile on their, it gives other guys the confidence to move forward.

Q.  It's not inconceivable that you would have three, 1,000 yard receivers.  Do you have a favorite?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Actually my favorite is Nick O'Leary.  The tight end.  He does a lot of behind the closet things.  Having the trio is just a blessing in my life, having the receivers is a blessing in my life.  Kelvin Benjamin is gonna catch anything, Kenny Shaw is gonna catch anything, and Rashad Greene's gonna catch anything.  Just having those four guys is a blessing.

Q.  How has coach Fisher done as fas as providing a chance for you to have fun, while also getting down to the brass tax of playin' your best football game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  The thing about Coach Fisher is all of us know how he rolls, and he's a complicated guy, so looking in his eye, we feed off him.  I feed off Coach Fisher.

Q.  How about Auburn, when you look at Auburn defensively what strikes you as the most important thing that you have to do when you look at the Auburn Tiger defense?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Just have to go out there and get it.  They have a great team and great performers, have to go out there and get it.

Q.  You have a special handshake before the game, are we going to see something different?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Going to be the same thing.

Q.  What's the coolest present you've ever gotten?
JAMEIS:  I know the coolest Christmas present I had was a Rhino bike, because my birthday is around Christmas so birthday presents are just about money.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It would be the best birthday present I have had in my life.

Q.  What would it mean in your heart to win a championship like this?
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† It would mean a lot to this program and just for us being‑‑ Florida State being known as the team that always ends up dropin' one, like to a smaller team or something like that.
It would mean a lot to our program not only to us but to the seniors because they worked hard over the past four years and it would mean a lot to coach Fisher 'cause this is Coach Fisher's first recruiting class and it shows just what a great coach us.

Q.  How great is your team?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Our team is amazing and I know our team is the best team in the country and we go out there and do what we do, we gonna be hard to beat.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Just the way we play.  We are not one of the teams that gotta sit in the locker room and be all uptight and serious, we have a type of "swag" to our team.  When you go out there and play football, the game that you love and have fun doin' it, that is what makes the game important.  The football Gods are looking at it and saying, they're playing this game but having fun with it.

Q.  And how much pressure is there on you?  How much pressure do you put on yourself?  Do you have to have a great game to win?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I don't have to have a great game, I have to do my job.  That's what people talk about quarterbacks, all I have to do is manage the game because I got so many great people around me, so many great leaders on that defensive side of the ball and our defense has done an amazing job this year.  Sometimes I haven't played my best games but we ended up with a victory.

Q.  And the pressure?  Do you feel pressure?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, not at all.  It's just another football game and the thing that I love to do.  I love to go out there and play football.

Q.  Jameis are you surprised at your sudden rise, it hasn't taken you long in college to start making some waves.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I'm not surprised.  I got a great team around me and I don't believe in, like, a sudden rise.  I was awaitin' to come and show everybody what we can do at Florida State and show everybody that Florida State is one of the top programs in the country.

Q.  What kind of advice did he give you?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  He told me all be Jameis Winston and that's what I do.  He prepared me for all the interviews and stuff like that.

Q.  Now if you had to pick a sport, I don't want to fast forward your career, but what is your true love?  Football or baseball?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Both, both are my Truelove, I don't see myself playing one without the other.  It may come to that day that I have to make a decision but right now I'm definitely not making a decision.

Q.  Do you think you can play both at the same time?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I know I can play both.

Q.  Major league?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yeah.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, I'm glad they call Auburn the team of destiny, because at Florida State we control our own destiny.  It's nothing what they are thinking or anything like that that can affect us.
I mean, that's great.  They had some great games beating people in the last 5 minutes, mentally more than physically they stayed in the game.  That's one thing they talk about staying to the fourth quarter.  But Florida State we are controlling our destiny and we tryin' to do it big.  We not looking for miracles to happen.  We lookin' to play football and do what we do.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's what we do.  That's what we do, we dominate our opponent physical and mentally.  That's what we want to do.  Obviously with Auburn it's going to be a harder task because they're a great team but we enjoy dominating our opponent, that's Florida State football.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yes.  Because like I said, adversity that we went through last month, that has been our close game because we had to get over that, I had to get over that and when we playing against Auburn we look for a football game and not to blow 'em out.  Nothing wrong with blowin' 'em out, at the same time.

Q.  Talk about Coach Craig.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I love that guy, he's helped me get to where I am now and he's like an uncle to me.  He's a figure I can talk to anytime something is going wrong or anytime that I feel down I can call him and talk to him.

Q.  When he took the job at Auburn were you sad?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I was depressed, but at the end of the day I knew he had to do what was good, good for his family and himself, so I had to suck my tongue in and say congratulations, go do what you do.  I know he played at Auburn, that's his dream job.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  The trophy doesn't give me confidence at all.  My teammates give me confidence.  The way we carry ourselves on the field, that's confidence.  When I go out there and see how we work at practice, that's giving me confidence.  A trophy will never give a football player confidence in anything they do.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  For me.  I'm always going to be myself.  I'm not going to carry my way in a bad manner, I will always be high energy, have a smile on my face, you will never know what's wrong with me.

Q.  What's your motivation?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  My motivation?

Q.  Core motivation?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I got so many things motivating me.  All this anger built inside me that people don't even know.  I'm going out there to play football and when I step on the football field that's what I do, my love and my passion.

Q.  Whereas the Heisman Trophy?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't know, it's at home somewhere in Alabama.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I been to the mall a couple times, I was probably in disguise, but it's always fun to win the Heisman because that's one of the prestigious awards, but I'm more focused on this game and winning a National Championship.  That's what defines a quarterback, not the awards but when they win the National Championship.

Q.  How has your life changed?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  My life hasn't changed.  The award is a privilege and it makes me feel good but my life hasn't changed because I still have that goal to get that National Championship.  I'm not looking for my life to change I'm looking to change other people's lives, looking to make my teammates happy and bringing home the National Championship is more important than anything else.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Recently Johnny Manziel and Cam Newton, I enjoyed Michael Vic, I love the way Tom Brady and Peyton Manning think.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I can't hear you.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  We knew in the spring that we had a chance.  But when we played that first Pitt game and saw how we came together and putting a good game together and when we went to Clemson and saying that we wouldn't be able to stop their offense.  That gave us that service.  When we went to Clemson and blue them out of the water that give us confidence that, hey, we good!  Our offense good, our defense good because after the Boston college game people were saying Florida State's defense is suspect and all this stuff and we went to Clemson and played that game and that's the game that put us over the hump.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Auburn reminds me of Clemson, guaranteed because before that game everyone was saying, hey, Clemson has the best defensive linemen you will play and that's what everybody is saying, they're saying that this game.  Obviously we can't listen to what everybody else is sayin', we gotta go out there and play football and dominate.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Because when you prepare yourself mentally before a game, letting your God‑given abilities sit in your box and use your arm and your brain to execute plays, that's good because no one has to know that you can run.¬† The quarterback position you can hand the ball off to your running back and let him get all the carries but you have to produce in the passing game, you gotta be able to think mental and when you are the quarterback all the pressure is on you so I love the thinking part of the game instead of the athletic part.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Well, all through my life I was in the wing‑T offense and coming up through high school people used to say Jameis is just a running quarterback, he can't throw so initially I wanted to show people I could throw so I got better and better at throwing.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Just the way we play.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  At the end of the day they're going to have to get in their defense and play us.  So all the disguising, I can look at the defense and say, hey, they're going to be in this so all the disguising, that's not hurtin' us.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Probably me.  That was tough out there, in front of all of our players because of course some of the guys were going to "hate" on our lyrics, but it was fun, real fun last night.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  The best rapper?  That's hard we got a lot of good free stylers on the team.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  A challenge?  To play a great football team.  We going to be playing an amazing football team, we lookin' for them to battle us and come out there and play the game that they have been playing all year.  We not lookin' for them to play down or nothing like that so all the viewers at home can say this is one of the best games in college football history.

Q.  How has your preparation been?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Great.  I watch film every single night and that's what you gotta do.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's why I have a good relationship with Coach Craig because he made it easy on me and Coach Fisher and Coach Mike Martin Jr made it easier, because at Florida State they helped me be a Seminole because I saw how Coach Mike was going to help me prepare for the MLB and playing Florida State baseball and I knew Coach Fisher would prepare me to be a great quarterback in the NFL one day.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I would hope to think that, but obviously I can't control none of that.  I gotta get better at baseball Louis like I gotta get better at football.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I haven't reached my max goal.  That's easy because at the end of the day I want to be the last person on that field and I want to be holding up that crystal ball and all the awards that an individual can receive, nothing is more important than hoisting that crystal ball up there with your team singing "We Are The Champions!"

Q.(No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I know I did nothing wrong so I had to look at the adversity as something to grow from.  You can grow from everything so I got closer with God spiritually and I got closer to my team and saw how they supported me and how Coach Fisher supported me.

Q.  Talk about baseball, how strong are you?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I would like to say I'm pretty good because I got that confidence and I know I can pitch with anybody but I got to get better in the field and at hitin'.

Q.  Obviously you will probably have a chance to be in the NFL and maybe MLB.  What are you going to play?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm going to play both.  It aggravates me when people ask me, are you going to be able to play both, obviously you can play both.

Q.  Bo Jackson your inspiration for that?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  He is, he's from Alabama.

Q.  What has he been able to tell about you that.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I haven't talked to Bo that much but watching him and watching the things he do gives me inspiration to see I can do anything I want to do and watching other players go out there and play gives me the inspiration that I can do anything I want to do.

Q.  What about spring baseball?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm not worried about spring baseball and Coach Marlin is down here and he knows not to even come my way talking about baseball right now.

Q.  What's the biggest concern about the Auburn defense?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm not concerned about anything, I'm concerned about our team's performance and how we are going to play.  We play Florida State football we goin' to be hard to beat.

Q.  Would it be a good birthday present?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It would be the best birthday present in the world.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Defenses don't know how to stop certain offense.  I talk about it in the SEC a lot.  Like with Johnny Manziel, people saying Missouri will never be able to adjust to the SEC but it's hard to stop a dynamic offense when they have so many assets to it.  That's what I like about watching teams like Missouri and when Boise State used to be so good I used to watch teams like that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Honestly I just like playing football.¬† I don't care about the score.¬† I just like going out there and playin'.¬† A tighter, high‑scoring game would be fun, obviously.

Q.  Do you feel like emotionally you're prepared for this game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I feel like I'm prepared because at the end of the day I'm not going to be playing against the environment, a lot of people say that about Clemson, Jameis is not going to be able to handle that environment, I'm going to play football.  I'm going to do what I do because I have a great football team around me.  We can do anything on that football field.  We can't control the atmosphere or if it rains or if the sun is shining but we can control what happens football field.

Q.  Where did you learn about that confidence and handling yourself?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's just me.  I don't worry about anything like that.

Q.  What do you worry about?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  What am I going to do every single day to help my team out and get better.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I mean, obviously that might happen, but I don't expect that to happen.  I want to keep playin' both as long as I can.

Q.  What would it mean for you guys to win this for the state of Florida?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It would mean a lot and the whole program.  Even when we see our track team they are like, hey, you are the Florida State champions and I wish we could play UCF, because now we going to have a lot of stuff saying I want to beat UCF and obviously we want to go on for a greater accomplishment, but we ain't had that at Florida State for a long time.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I would guess so.  If you playin' football and you goin' to be on your "A" game like UCF, they can play with anybody and I respect UCF.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† No, we just playin' football.¬† We not worried about an upset alert.¬† We was playing Maryland and we was on upset alert and we was up 21‑0 so we don't worry about anything, we just going to play football and we play our best game we going to be hard to beat.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I haven't watched 'em much but I know he does a great job of managing the team and obviously he's a winner.  He just won the Fiesta Bowl and I respect him for that.

Q.  What's your biggest concern about the Auburn defense?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't have any concerns because I know that the offense that we have is going to be prepared and I know we play like we need to play, we're going to be hard to beat.
Obviously, Auburn has a great team and I'm pretty sure they don't have any concerns either.  Obviously it's going to be a great football team and it's going to be, hey, who is the biggest and the baddest?

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  They remind me of Clemson's defense with a front four, and the way they move around.  Like Clemson.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Obviously I'm going to have to get the ball out of my hands fast but my offensive line has done a great job this year and I trust everyone around me.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  We didn't look at that stuff as something to dwell on, we just looking at, hey, we want to be national champions, so we don't care if we get you new coaches in or I'm going to be the quarterback, we just want to win and from the spring we decided we gonna dominate everybody we play.  We had a council meeting with 20 of us players meeting Coach Fisher and the first day he was like, "I just want to dominate everybody" and that's been a goal all year.  Me being new and the coaches being new that's something we can't control but one thing we can control is how we play on the football field.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Oh, yeah, my true freshman year I had to carry the footballs on and off the field especially during the summers with Seminole 7 and I was tieing people's shoes and I still tie people's shoes, especially my linemen but there was no hazing or anything like that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, usually when I have problems on my mind, he knows.  He will call me at 5:00 in the morning and say "Jameis, is something on your mind" and I talked to him a couple of times and I got closer with Coach Fisher than anything because that man stood beside me and trusted the process.
That's how he became my father‑figure because I gained a lot of respect for him through that whole thing.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Oh, man, I can't share those with you because Coach Craig is a funny guy.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  To Jacob, to other people it would be something they would be like, hating, at some point but he has no hatred at all, he is one of the most genuine people, he is from Alabama, what do you expect?  Me and Jacob knew whoever got this position we trusted each other.  Like the Pitt game when I threw my first touchdown, Jacob was the first guy to pat me up and I would have done the same for him.  Me and him just great friends.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Jacob is the only person I know that can throw off one leg better than anyone else.¬† When you see him at practice, he loves to throw and he just had surgery on his knee, Jacob is a great athlete, 6‑4, 6‑5 and 230, me personally I think Jacob can go anywhere and start in any program.

Q.  Who throws it farther?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I know I can throw is farther, Jacob and Sean got a lot of zip but I know I can throw it farther than all of 'em.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It prepares me for everything and going to the high school I went to, at that school I wasn't a super star, but people didn't realize that I was the number one quarterback in the country or anything like that but it helped me for the situation I went through this past month it humbled me.  Being here now I'm not noticing that, hey, I just won the Heisman Trophy because I want to get the National Championship.  I probably breakdown and cry in tears if we win that thing because so much happened this year and so much has happened to my whole life that moments like this you want to cherish and you don't get these moments any other time.  So I want to make the most of it.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  When you look at people like Taylor Griswold, he done played two home state teams in his past two bowl games, I mean that's something that inspired me and Tatey did it, Tatey went out there and showed out against his two home town teams, Miami being one.  He beat 'em bad.  I know what he's feeling right now because I feel the same way because I know people in Auburn so this is my rival game like the Florida game I didn't know many people on the other team so it was a team rivalry game but this is my rivalry game playing against Auburn.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I see a lot of opportunity against any defense that we play against.

Q.  Some people say this might be the first real pressure game you've played in.  Do you feel like that?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I trust my team.  I can't control what people say about pressuring and stuff because they said that against Florida and against Clemson so it's going to keep goin' on and on every single time.
Auburn has a great team.  People say they're a team of destiny but the thing about Auburn is the "will" they play with.  They play with such passion and they love the game and that's why we playin' against them right now.

Q.  Was the Clemson game a turning point in terms of the confidence with you guys and how far you could go?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Definitely.  When we saw how we beat Clemson and our defense stepped up and basically controlled that game.  We knew that was the game that got us over the hump.

Q.  Jameis do you follow Alabama?
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Not as much.¬† Most of the time‑‑ only reason I know about them playing is one of the players will say, "check it out" or something like that.¬† So I don't keep up with it but obviously me being from the state I have people at home saying "hey, boy, y'all still can't beat Alabama" so I pay attention to that.

Q.  Did you get to the watch that game?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I watched the end of it.

Q.  Tell me what that was like, the ending?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That was the craziest ending I've seen in my life, there was some crazy stuff that happened in that game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well at the end of the season I was telling myself we gonna play Alabama or Auburn and obviously the team we wanted to play was Alabama because Alabama is on top but what's wrong with playing Auburn?  Auburn won the last championship out of this state so we looking forward to playing anybody but I wanted to play a team from Alabama.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, this is another thing that my team feeds off of.  When they see me, no pressure, not a word on my mind.  Some people watch our interviews because most of the time we talk about people doin' the interviews.  But when we see confidence it's good to have a smile.  Even when things are going bad, so you can never let someone see you sweat.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I got a lot of people that help me out with everything, even my high school coach, he prepared me and tell me the good things to say, always be positive because you can never be positive too much.

Q.  Jameis before the Clemson game your teammates said you had a sayin'.  It caught on.  Talk about how that caught on.  Can you talk about how that caught on with the team.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's just a sayin', like, "If you gonna do it, might as well do it big."  No reason to go out there and do and I actually got that from Webbie and he probably looking at me right now and telling me I'm stealing his words but it's a real statement and most people don't recognize what that mean.  But in you goin' do something you might as well do it your best and do it big.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I trust my team.  When you have a great team around you like that, it's easy to be comfortable with every situation.  Obviously I'm going to lose those guys one day to the NFL and I'm going to have to be the head man and I know I will be ready for that situation because handling the adversity last month and handling everything my whole life I know I will be prepared for that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  One thing that Coach Fisher said to me, throw it to the open guy because the play don't care what makes it.  That's what he harps on so whatever needs to get the ball, whoever is open give 'em the ball because at the end of the day the play don't care.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It was a shock to me at first because we were close, but I was happy for him at the end of the day, even though I was sad that he left.  I was happy for him because that was his dream job.  Obviously he got paid a lot and he played for Auburn and that's something he wanted to do.  I know his family and I know it was big for them, too.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Not at all.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Coach Freeman got me started on the baseball/football thing.  I used to wake up at 7:00 in the morning and go to the Academy and practice with him.  I would throw the football in the morning, pitch in the afternoon, and hit after I pitched.  I started at a young age and that's why I think that I really just got focused on this, being with Coach Freeman and saying, "Hey, this is not just a fun thing, it's something I want to do the rest of my life."

Q.  The idea is to score a touchdown every time you get the ball, right?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, we not worrying about no records.  We want our name to be in the history books for winning the National Championship in 2014.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I believe we have had some great practices and the way we have been carrying ourselves out here not doing anything outside of football, just locked in and getting ready to play a great Auburn team.

Q.  Enjoying the experience?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yeah, we enjoying the experience because Cali has beautiful weather and it's good to lay in the comfortable bed and watch some football after a great practice.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's always our goal, there is nothing wrong with that being our goal, but obviously we lookin' for a good football game.  This game, playin' Auburn they ain't gonna allow that to happen and if they do allow it to happen, we might as well do it big.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  We don't think about no legacy stuff we think about winning a National Championship.  All the other stuff will come, all the stats and the records, that's going to come after but right now I know all the other Seminoles are thinking about winning this game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I mean, it was hard but when you got people like Coach Fisher and people like Coach Craig and genuine people, like Coach Mike Martin, it's all good.  What's up, Tre.  You interviewing me, too dog?  What you gonna interview me about?

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, Tre, let me tell you what, when you have a great team like we do at Florida State University, you can do anything that you want to do, Tre.  Having those guys, having Nick O'Leary, Kelvin Benjamin, Rashad Greene, Kenny Shaw, James Wilder, Carlos Williams, and you have a great offensive line, Tre, hey, you made to go to the National Championship game, Tre.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Because Coach Fisher is a perfectionist, and we like to view ourselves in his eyes and if he says we haven't played our best football game, we haven't.  And our best games, we have a turnover or something.  We have a board on our wall and we want there to be all "yeses" and we haven't had a game where we have had all "yeses" on that board.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm more anxious for it to be my birthday than the game because I know we going to go out there and play good on Monday.  That's a football game, that's something I love to do, but I'm ready to be 20, man!

Q.  What you see Tre Mason play what do you see in him?
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I see a beast.¬† Every time I look at Auburn offense, I see physical specimens running all over the field.¬† I really admire those guys, because they run that offense to a tee.¬† Same thing with their defense, you see the their defensive line, D‑4, LaDarius Owens, Cassanova McKinzy in the middle, I mean, you just see beasts running around on that field.

Q.  How big of an advantage is it for you as a quarterback?  Are you licking your chops?
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† At the end of the day it's whoever got the most heart and the will is going to do it.¬† I'm blessed with the offensive line that I have with Kelvin Benjamin at 6‑6, Rashad Greene, our speedster, and Kenny Shaw and even Nick O'Leary, our tight end, so we got a lot of match‑ups, and we lookin' forward to playin' against them, but their DBs got a lot of heart and they been playing real hard this season.

Q.  Do you believe in the destiny of Auburn, or your dominance more?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I believe in controlling your own destiny.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Oh, man, the trio has brought my swag up, not alone just the trio, but Bobby Hart, he's really bumped my flag up.  Being around those guys, I'm havin' fun.  It's always good for a quarterback to have a great relationship with his teammates but for us to hangout and for us to get mad at each other and come back the next day and be like, "Man, I love you, man" that's good to have that relationship.

Q.  Away from the public and hanging out what's it like?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm happy when Rashad Greene cooks.  He's an amazing cook, and I look forward to going to his house on Sunday and eatin'.

Q.  They said they can't go out anywhere with you, because you get swarmed by people.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I enjoy staying in.  I be one to go out and people always hit me up in Tallahassee, but it's not that bad, they just always be complaining and stuff.

Q.  Is this an important day to you?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Don't play with me y'all, you know it's my birthday, man.

Q.  It's your birthday, Jameis.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I know, I said don't play with me like that.  I know it's my birthday.

Q.  What's it going to be like for you and the rest of the team?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm just going to enjoy the atmosphere and my team, we going to win a National Championship.

Q.  Happy birthday!
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I'm going to enjoy playing in the National Championship because it's a once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity.¬† Thank y'all.

Q.  Happy birthday.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It ain't my happy birthday.  Tell me happy birthday when it's the day!

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's the best part, having an opportunity to send those guys off with a National Championship.  Being able to come back the next year as a National Champion, that's the best part of the whole season.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm going to be dreamin', that was my main goal winning a National Championship.  I couldn't have dreamed of winning the Heisman or any awards but definitely the National Championship was in my dreams.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† It means a lot because things I heard about the Rose Bowl and how good the grass is, when you see the practice field, we can't wait to get on that turf‑‑ not the turf but we can't wait to get on that grass out there at the Rose Bowl.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  They just a bunch of beasts, specimens runnin' around on that field and they're a great team.  They have a lot of heart.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Me and Tre Mason real cool but I have a better relationship with the defensive players because I played with LaDarius Owen, Cassanova McKinzy, and Chris Davis, and Jake Holland.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Y'all ain't gonna sing happy birthday to me?  Thank you.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  In the spring I knew we had the team to do it, we just had to go out there and preform.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  You don't see those guys I got around me?  They'll make you realize you could go out there and play quarterback, I mean those guys are amazing.  Having a great coach, great scheme, having great players, Kelvin Benjamin, Kenny Shaw, Kenny Shaw, Nick O'Leary.  I can name my whole offensive line, great running backs.  Any of them are great offensive weapons.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Well, I always want to blow people out but if the ball‑‑ if the game is going to come down to the final drive that is going to be one of the most memorable moments of my life, especially in the National Championship and those are the moments you want.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It's gonna come when it's needed and I'm gonna be ready.

Q.  Have you thought about the pregame?  What are you listen to in pregame?  What are you going to do pregame?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Probably Webbie or Lil' Boosie.

Q.  What?
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† They from Baton Rouge, you don't know nothin' about that, but when I prepare for a game, music doesn't really‑‑ isn't something that gets me pumped up, just actually thinking about the game, envisioning the game, it's something that gets me pumped up.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  My routine, night before the game I'm laid back and from today to Monday night I'm going to be just envisioning everything that's happening.  That's how I prepare.  Music or all the other stuff like that, that doesn't really prepare me but I get prepared by just seein' things coming, imagining stuff happening, situations.

Q.  What would you imagine?
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Us winning.¬† That's going to be the main thing and I'm going to imagine a lot of pressure, getting the ball out, imagine when they play man‑to‑man a lot of match‑ups that I have to go through and I have to be situational ready.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Oh, Trev?  Motivational videos, Trevor is an amazing guy, to hear his story and what he's been through, seeing that smile on his face, he's always pumped up and I love that about him.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't even know, are they here yet.  I don't know if they here yet but I know my family coming, couple friends coming and Coach Scott will be here, yeah.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  After the game I get a chance but I saw Coach Scott last week.  It was good to see him again.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's why I know Auburn is a real good team because Coach Malzahn is one of the greatest people I've ever meant and when Coach Craig said he was going there I said Coach Malzahn is a great guy.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Just the type of person he is, a God‑loving person, spiritual and he's a great person, a person that you want to be around and that's why his players play for him.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It means a lot and playin' in this game it's amazing and when you have a great team like yourself is on that team and you have a great rivalry and offensive linemen, we're hard to beat, okay, and it's fun being out here in California.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I'm enjoying sight‑seeing and shopping and a lot of great things out here to see in California.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  You just asked me that question.  Later.

Q.  Jameis, you mentioned earlier that you always carry yourself with a smile on your face so people don't see when something is wrong.  How have you been able to do that?  When you were going through your experience, how were you able to carry yourself in a positive way?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It's easy because I got closer to God during that time.  I knew that no weapon formed against me shall prosper.  And my favorite verse is Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me."  It's easy to have a smile on your face when you got the "main man" behind you.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't think anything can beat the excitement of being in this game.  It's obviously going to be a rivalry game to me playing against people I haven't played against before, but if you don't think it's exciting, you don't need to be playin'.

Q.  A lot of guys you grew up with, probably Auburn fans. Have you seen any of them?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  My friend Blake Amoson and a friend Lindsey Reagan, and Blake was like, "Jameis I'm comin' to the game, but I can't pull for you, man".

Q.  What did you say?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I said "Blake, I don't care, man."
Q.(No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yes, because Coach Fisher instills in us that you going to practice how you play.  I believe that we have been having a great week of practice and when we go out there and prepare ourselves and practice, if we do good in practice we goin' to do well in the game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's what I'm hoping for but Auburn is not going to allow it to happen, they're not going to want that to happen.  And the team that they have and the people that they have on their team they going to be like, we not going to let Florida State come out here and blow us up.  We the Auburn Tigers we are probably like "We are the Auburn Tigers" and we looking forward to that, because we goin' to come out there and let them know, hey, we a great football team, too.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† That's ten years‑‑ 20 years, yeah, 20 years anniversary, so that's good.¬† Obviously it's good to be playing against another black quarterback but at the end of the day it's going to be who has the best football team, just like with Mr. Frazier.¬† Whoever has the best football team at the end of the day won that game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I think that they going to do some amazing things in this game but I really don't focus on them having a miracle happen or anything like that, because that's a once‑in‑a‑lifetime thing and they had a couple of those things happen and that's good.¬† At the end of the day it's going to be a great football game and we got to go out there and do what we do and they gotta do what they do.

Q.  What's it like to be here?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It's great, we tryin' to bring the "swag" back and dominating teams have fun doing it, they have the "swag" and having fun playing the sport that you love, you can't beat that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I don't know much about their history, because I'm not from Florida State.¬† I'm not from Florida.¬† That's amazing that you just said that.¬† Obviously we look at the match‑up of Florida State and Auburn and we playin' Auburn today so I guess that's a big thing, but we just focused on playing the National Championship game and living in the moment today.

Q.  Looking at their defense, what are you seeing on film?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Doesn't matter what they give up in the pass because they gonna come ready and prepared to stop us.  What they done in the past doesn't matter.  What matters is what happens on Monday.

Q.  What's it like to have your 20th birthday on the day you play for a National Championship?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It's fun, go out there and celebrate your birthday on a National Championship day.

Q.  Do you get a great feeling that it's falling on that day?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It gives me a great feeling and for it to be on my birthday, it can be a sign or a sign of a bad thing and I guarantee you if we lose I'm not going to want to play no more games on my birthday.

Q.  Was it tough to say goodbye to Coach Craig?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It was tough.  He was like a mentor, so it was tough but Coach Sanders is an amazing Coach and he's a fun guy to be around.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's not weird, we playin' a football game, me and Coach Craig just want to win.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Naw, I like you guys.  It's fun to answer questions on my team's behave for the most part because when you answering questions you can always put your team in it and that's the most important thing and when the team says that guy has all those individual awards and when he says I'm the reason for it, hey.  You got to because without them I wouldn't be up here talking to you guys right now.  Without Coach Fisher trusting me with this offense I wouldn't be up here.  It would be Jacob up here.

Q.  Is it your dream to be a Bo Jackson and play both sports?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's my dream.

Q.  Do you think it's possible?  Is it anything hard about it?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Anything is possible.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm always going to be myself so it's easy to be yourself when you up on the pressure or anything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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