Winston credited his teammates for helping him to stay focused on football during the investigation and said, again, that he knew he had done nothing wrong.
“Looking at the situation from the outside in, you would think it would hurt the team, but we used it as a time to get stronger,” Shaw said. “We stayed close to Jameis because we knew the allegations wasn’t true and all that. But we just got stronger and we didn’t miss a beat.”
A year in which character has been a much-covered talking point in college football — Johnny Manziel, Urban Meyer and Jadeveon Clowney have also been part of the discussion — has been capped by plenty of debate about whether Winston’s character was Heisman-worthy.
“What people think outside of this and what people are trying to do, I can’t control none of that,” Winston said. “I just go out there and play football because I enjoy it and I love it and it’s my passion, and I’ve got these boys around me, and that’s what we love to do, go out there and play Florida State football.”
He has one more chance to shine on the biggest stage yet.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP