BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's improbable redshirt freshman season ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left to defeat Auburn for the 2013 BCS national championship. It capped a debut that saw him join former Texas A&M standout Johnny Manziel as the only freshmen to ever win a Heisman Trophy.
The Alabama native will pick up another prize for his on-field exploits this weekend from the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Winston will be named the 2013 Alabama Amateur Athlete of the Year by the state's media Sunday night in Troy during the group's annual awards banquet and convention.
He will not be able to attend the event as it was just his second weekend off from practice or competition since the Seminoles returned from their BCS victory. Winston is also a pitcher, outfielder and designated hitter on Florida State's baseball team. Florida State athletic officials said he had a prior commitment.
Antonor Winston, his father, expressed the family's sentiment for the honor nonetheless.
"An honor like that coming to Jameis from his home state while he's off playing in Florida means something to us," his father said. "That's special. Any award from the people of the state of Alabama is special to our family."
The two-sport standout led the nation in passing efficiency (184.8) in 2013 and set new Florida State and national freshman records for single-season passing yards (4,057) and touchdown passes (40). Winston threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns in that 34-31 comeback win at the Rose Bowl to earn offensive MVP honors in the national championship game. He became the first freshman quarterback to lead his team to a 14-win season. He also became the youngest player to win the Heisman at 19 years and 342 days.
"I knew he was going to be successful," his father said. "I knew he was a smart kid. Jameis is an intelligent kid and a competitive player. The dude got himself accepted into Stanford, but a Heisman Trophy? Nobody in our family expected anything like that after his first season."