TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the first time in the Atlantic Coast Conference's 61-year history, an underclassman has been named the league's player of the year. That underclassman is Florida State's Jameis Winston.
Receiving 47 of the 65 votes by the Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Media Association (ACSMA), Winston ran away with ACC Player of the Year honors the conference officially announced Wednesday afternoon.
Also receiving votes were Boston College's Andre Williams (13), Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald (four) and Clemson's Tajh Boyd (one).
Winston, who was also named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year Wednesday and has already been named the league's rookie of the year and offensive rookie of the year, is in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in FSU history. The redshirt freshman quarterback has led the undefeated Seminoles to a No. 1 ranking in the BCS standings and a berth in Saturday's ACC Football Championship Game.
“I’m very honored to win this award,” Winston said. “I want to thank the coaches and my teammates who have made this possible. The season isn’t over yet, though. We just need keep improving and stay focused.”
A win in Charlotte would send FSU to its first national championship appearance since 2000.
“I’m very happy for Jameis,” FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “It’s a well-deserved honor. He not only made some great plays during the regular season, but he played with tremendous consistency and was a great team leader. In turn, that’s why he’s very deserving of these awards.”
Winston concluded his incredible first regular season under center for the 'Noles with a 37-7 victory at Florida last weekend. He currently ranks first nationally in pass efficiency (192.6) while the FSU offense is second in the country in points per game (53.7) and seventh in total offense (526.1). The Seminoles are just 73 points shy of setting the NCAA record for most points scored in a season.
The Bessemer, Ala. native's 3,490 passing yards are already an ACC rookie record and his 35 touchdown passes are both a conference record for rookies and the overall FSU record for scores thrown in one season. Winston's next touchdown throw will tie the ACC all-time record by a quarterback of any class while also tying former Oklahoma star and No. 1 overall draft selection Sam Bradford's NCAA-record 36 touchdowns by a freshman.
Winston is just just 251 yards passing shy of setting a new NCAA record for yards thrown by a freshman in one season. Considered the Heisman Trophy favorite, Winston is the first freshman to lead an ACC team to a 12-0 record.
Already this season Winston has been named ACC Rookie of the Week seven times, ACC Offensive Back of the Week four times, Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week three times, Athlon Sports National Player of the Week two times and the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week once.
Winston is a finalist for the Maxwell, Davey O'Brien and Manning awards. He is the sixth FSU player to be named ACC Player of the Year and the first since Weinke in 2000.
Winston Named One of Five Finalists for 2013 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award
Winston was also named one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Foundation 2013 Player of the Year award on Wednesday.
Winston is joined by senior quarterbacks AJ McCarron (Alabama) and Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois) along with redshirt sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) and senior running back Andre Williams (Boston College).
The 2013 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by the Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced on Thursday, December 12 during the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN SportsCenter.
Former University of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, now playing in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers, won the award last year. The winner will receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
The Foundation is offering a "Holiday Ticket Promotion" for the National Awards Dinner. Buy two tickets for $450 (you save $150) before December 31. Please call (203) 288-CAMP (288-2267) for more information.