Jameis Winston Decides To Enter 2015 NFL Draft, Leave Florida State

It’s official: Jameis Winston will take his chances in the big leagues.

The Florida State quarterback confirmed in a statement Wednesday morning that he will forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL draft.

“After weighing this decision with my family and friends, I have decided to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft and forgo my remaining eligibility at Florida State,” Winston said in the statement, via ESPN. “I reached this very difficult decision after careful consideration and long thought, realizing how difficult it would be to say goodbye to my family at Florida State. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to wear the garnet and gold and have greatly enjoyed my time as a Seminole, both as an athlete and a student in the classroom.”

Winston previously had planned on waiting until after the college football national championship game to announce his decision, but his father, Antonor, told ESPN earlier Wednesday morning that his son would declare for the draft.

The 21-year-old quarterback had a wild ride during his brief stint in Tallahassee. He was a force on the field, losing just one game in two seasons, leading the Seminoles to a national championship in the 2013 season and taking home a Heisman Trophy in the process.

Yet Winston’s exploits were at times overshadowed by his off-field incidents, which included a sexual assault charge (it was later dropped), a one-game suspension for making an obscene comment at a student union and a suspension from the baseball team after he was caught stealing crab legs.

Despite these issues, Winston still is projected as a top quarterback in next year’s draft alongside Oregon quarterback and 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. Quarterback-starved teams such as the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans all could have interest.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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