NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Jameis Winston whispered and giggled with teammate Kenny Shaw on the dais as two Florida State coaches answered questions, many about him. The Heisman Trophy winner and his star receiver looked at times like a couple of kids trying not to laugh in the library.
When the questions were directed to Winston, he was his usual gregarious self, humbly deflecting credit on one hand, supremely self-confident on the other.
In the second interview session Friday, the Heisman Trophy winner had a platform all to himself and the biggest crowd of reporters around him.
There is no doubt Famous Jameis is the star of the show this week in Southern California.
It has taken one season for Winston to become one of college football’s biggest attractions, right up there with Johnny Manziel. He has set records and was the subject of a criminal investigation.
The 19-year-old, who turns 20 Monday night when the top-ranked Seminoles play No. 2 Auburn in the BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl, has dealt with both fame and scrutiny. He maintains that through it all he’s still the same person he was a year ago, when he was a promising freshman working with Florida State’s scout team.
“Nothing has changed,” he said.
Winston covered plenty of ground Friday.
— He doesn’t think he’s ready for the NFL nor is he in any rush to get there. “No, I got to get better at everything.”
— When he was in high school, he wanted to play for Texas. He even tried to reach out to Mack Brown, but it never went anywhere. “I tried to call him a couple times because I really like Texas.”
— He has joked around with Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher about recent speculation and reports that Fisher might replace Brown in Austin. “Even if Coach Fisher goes to Texas, I’m going to ask him, ‘Can I go with you?’ Yeah, I’m serious. He’s my coach.”