A team spokesman confirmed to the paper that Winston, who won the Heisman last season, will stay back in Tallahassee to finish final exams and practice with his team. Florida State (13-0) plays Oregon (12-1) in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, one of two semifinal matchups in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Previous winners of the Heisman Trophy are allowed to attend the ceremony. This year’s finalists are Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who is the favorite for the award.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said he understands what the award circuit can do to a player.
“You see the toll it takes on the kid,” Fisher said, according to The Orlando Sentinel. “Just the travel, from here to here to here. You’re speaking and doing that and it’s fun, but you’ve got be respectful and you’ve got spend your time and you can’t slight anyone in any way, shape or form. And I think it can be a wearing procedure on guys and it’s very tough.”
Winston completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,559 yards with 24 touchdowns and 17 interceptions this season for Florida State, which has won 29 straight games.
- Scooby Axson