Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Keep an eye on these stars in 2014
By Adam Rittenberg
Jameis Winston turned 20 on Monday, and he celebrated by becoming just the third quarterback in college football history to lead an undefeated team, win the Heisman Trophy and claim a national title in the same season.
The rest of us can celebrate the fact Winston will be back at Florida State for at least one more year. He's the second consecutive redshirt freshman quarterback to win the Heisman, and like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Winston will return to the college game after winning the award. If his second season is anything like Manziel's, the sport is in for a treat.
Unlike college basketball, which typically says goodbye to its best players after just one year, college football gets to enjoy its stars for a little longer. Winston certainly achieved stardom in 2013: He completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 4,057 yards with 40 touchdowns against 10 interceptions.
"Florida State is the national champion again, and I guarantee you we're bringing that swag back," Winston said. "You'd better believe it."
Winston tops the players to watch list for 2014, but narrowing the group was no easy task, especially with several NFL draft decisions yet to be announced. Assumptions had to be made about players like Manziel, Auburn's Tre Mason, Clemson's Vic Beasley and Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey. The list slants toward offense and the quarterback position, in part because most standout defenders from 2013 are gone.
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