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2013 Top 25 player countdown: No. 1

1/31/2014

No. 1: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Previous ranking: Not ranked

Making the case for Winston: It’s an easy case to make at this point. Winston was college football’s best player in 2013, earning All-ACC, All-America and Heisman honors along the way. His 2013 season is arguably the best by any freshman quarterback in college football history, posting an adjusted Total QBR of 88.5 (second nationally) while passing for 40 touchdowns (most by a QB from an AQ conference), completing 67 percent of his passes and averaging 10.6 yards per throw, tops in the nation.

Winston made it all look easy in 2013, rarely playing in the fourth quarter and assembling a long highlight reel of spectacular plays -- from his opening act against Pitt in which he accounted for five touchdowns to his dominance in the ACC title game win over Duke.

But, of course, Winston saved his most compelling moment for last, leading Florida State on an 80-yard drive in the final 1:19 of the VIZIO BCS National Championship, hitting Kelvin Benjamin in the end zone for a 2-yard, game-winning touchdown.

All season, Winston was FSU’s emotional leader both on and off the field, easily making him the ACC’s top player of 2013.

The countdown