Florida State star Jameis Winston becomes top pick in NFL Draft

Tampa Bay Buccaneers make 2013 Heisman Trophy winner No. 1 pick

Jameis Winston holds up a Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey outside his Alabama home after the team selects him with the first pick in the NFL Draft.
Jameis Winston holds up a Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey outside his Alabama home after the team selects him with the first pick in the NFL Draft. (Florida State Athletics)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Jameis Winston is staying in Florida.

The former Florida State quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner was the top overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

Winston was 26-1 as a starter, leading the Seminoles to the 2013 national championship and an appearance in the inaugural College Football Playoff last season.

His final game was a 49-20 loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl that ended Florida State's nation-best 29-game winning streak dating to the 2012 season.

Winston threw for 7,964 yards and 65 touchdowns while rushing for seven touchdowns in his tumultuous two-year career with the Seminoles. He became the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy and leaves FSU with the second-most passing touchdowns in team history.

Winston's time in Tallahassee might best be remembered by those outside the FSU fan base for a series of incidents that tarnished his reputation, most notably a 2012 sexual assault allegation.

In December 2013, as the Seminoles were poised to play for the national championship, Tallahassee state attorney Willie Meggs said his office would not prosecute Winston, citing a lack of evidence.

A year later, Winston was cleared of violating the student conduct code after a school hearing presided by former Florida Supreme Court justice Major Harding.

His accuser, Erica Kinsman, filed a lawsuit against Winston earlier this month.

Winston has claimed the sex was consensual.

In April 2014, Winston was issued a shoplifting citation after he walked out of a Publix without paying for $32.72 worth of crab legs and crawfish. He was ordered to undergo 20 hours of community service and suspended from the baseball team for three games.

On an episode of ESPN's "Draft Academy" last week, Winston said an employee gave the crab legs to him.

"How I'm supposed to handle, like, if I just got them for free? I just say, 'I just messed up?'" Winston asked Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh during the ESPN show, which aired Tuesday night but was taped before the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

Winston said it wasn't the first time he received free food from someone working at the store.

"Well, a week before, it was my buddy's birthday and we had got a cake. And we met a dude that worked inside Publix and he said, 'Hey, anytime you come in here, I got you.' So that day we just walked out and he hooked us up with that," Winston told Harbaugh.

Winston initially said he forgot to pay.

Last September, Winston was suspended for a game after he stood up on a table and yelled an obscene comment in the student union. He was initially suspended for the first half, but the school announced on the eve of the game that he would not play.

Winston is the first Florida State player to be chosen No. 1 overall.

"It's so surreal," Winston said during an interview with the NFL Network. "It feels like the championship game from 2013."

The Tennessee Titans selected Oregon quarterback and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 pick. It is the first time a pair of Heisman Trophy winners have been selected first and second in the draft in NFL history.

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