Jameis Winston's Updated 2013 Heisman Outlook After Win over Maryland

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2013

Sep 28, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) throws the ball against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The legend of Jameis Winston continues to grow every single week. After leading Florida State in a blowout win over Maryland, his Heisman candidacy is as good as ever.

Entering the week, the freshman quarterback was already known as one of the top passers in the country. He ranked second in the nation in quarterback efficiency, fourth in completion percentage and ninth in passing touchdowns.

However, with more experienced players like Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater and others also playing well, it seemed unlikely that Winston would be able to join this group in the Heisman conversation. 

That is no longer the case, as the young player is clearly in the discussion for the top individual award in football.

Against Maryland, Winston completed 23 of his 32 pass attempts for a career high of 393 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 24 rushing yards on the day, often picking them up in key situations.

In addition to the incredible statistics, the quarterback also had some highlight-reel plays that will remain in minds throughout the season. This certainly will go down as one of the best plays of the year:

This game was the first chance for many people to actually watch Winston play. The nationally televised game was hyped all week as a battle between undefeated ranked teams, and many wanted to see how Florida State would do against a step up in competition.

While Maryland did not live up to expectations, the game served as an impressive performance for the Seminoles to help convince voters they are truly one of the best teams in the country.

At the very least, anyone who watched should have come away with the mindset that Winston is among the best at his position.

It is important to realize that the Terps are not exactly a normal pushover, like Georgia State was for Alabama. The No. 25 team in the country ranked sixth in total defense and was eighth with eight interceptions in four games.

The squad only allowed a single passing touchdown all year and shut out a solid West Virginia squad.

However, Florida State embarrassed the defense thanks to the impressive play of Winston. He showed his elite ability with his arm and his legs, and he is certain to only get better as he becomes more comfortable playing at this level.

He has also been incredibly consistent this year, as noted by ESPN Stats and Information:

Of course, none of this will matter if he does not have a big showing in the next game. After a week off, the Seminoles travel to Clemson for what is certain to be one of the best matchups all season.

If Winston can put together a strong performance against an elite opponent, he will put himself in great position to eventually raise the Heisman Trophy. On the other hand, a bad day might not be something he could recover from.

Until then, the only thing that's clear is that Winston is one of the top players at any position at any age in the nation. This is enough to keep him in contention for the most prestigious award in the sport.


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