“This last month, is probably that humbling moment you’ll have in your life,” Winston said. “I was talking to (receiver) Rashad Greene, who said ‘God is always going to challenge you, no matter what it is.’ That was my humbling moment.”
It was no longer a question of if the case would impact Winston’s position as the front-runner to win the Heisman, but whether character should be considered in the voting process.
The closed investigation and the Heisman are closely intertwined, which was apparent in New York.
Reporters would ask Winston one question about football and the Heisman, but they were typically quickly followed by questions about the investigation.
Finally, as he gave his acceptance speech Saturday, the two collided. Holding back tears, he looked out at the crowd and toward his parents, who looked back with pride.
“I ain’t seen that look in their eyes in a long time,” Winston said of his parents. “It’s not that I feel complete, because I’m still hungry because we have a national championship we need to win. But when you see your mom and you see your dad, and you know they’ve been struggling through this whole process and now you just see a smile on their face.
“It comforted me.”
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, who also in attendance at the award ceremony, cried as Winston accepted the trophy and delivered his victory speech.
“It reinforces that the good things happen to the good guys. That everything, the trials and tribulations he went through, and had to stay strong,” Fisher said. “My mark, that’s a true mark of a man, is when you have your own individual issues, but you have a team to lead like a family, and you never let those get in the way of the rest of our players reach their goal as a team.