Heisman Trophy

Jameis Winston Will Struggle to Repeat as Heisman Trophy Winner

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles looks to pass against the Duke Blue Devils during the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

Only one person in history has ever won the Heisman Trophy twice, and Jameis Winston will have a hard time becoming the second.

Since the award was first given out to the most outstanding college football player in the nation in 1935, only Archie Griffin has been fortunate enough to bring home the award in two different seasons. Winston can join this club after winning in 2013, but a number of factors will prevent this from happening.

Based on talent alone, it is clear the Florida State quarterback is one of the best players in the nation. He finished his redshirt freshman season with 4,057 passing yards, 40 touchdowns and the No. 1 passer efficiency in the country at 184.8.

ESPN's NFL draft guru Mel Kiper believes he is the best prospect available for 2015:

However, talent alone does not necessarily guarantee winning the most prestigious individual award in sports. 

One of the biggest problems Winston will face this season is increased expectations. While many had high hopes for the talented player coming into last year, no one thought he would become one of the best in the country right away. This changed in his first start when he went 25 of 27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.

As he continued to put up incredible numbers throughout the year, fans watching along could not help but be impressed.

The problem is this year the perception has changed. We have seen what Winston is capable of, and anything less would seem like a disappointment. Johnny Manziel actually posted better passing numbers last season but only finished fifth in the Heisman voting because voters were no longer impressed by his highlight-reel plays.

In reality, fans should expect a bit of a drop in production this season. Coaches have now had an entire offseason to study the sophomore and should be able to come up with ways to defend him. 

Additionally, Winston might have to be more conservative in his approach after losing a few major weapons like Kelvin Benjamin, Kenny Shaw and Devonta Freeman this offseason.

The quarterback also is putting the team first, saying, "I haven't set any individual goals. Just team goals. And the first goal is winning the national championship," via Danny Aller of Yahoo Sports.

This could mean a lot more running plays for Florida State to control possession, especially with the team likely having a lot of big leads in the second half.

However, this brings another problem heading into the season. Even though it was an individual award, voters care about how the team performs. This is another reason Manziel or Mark Ingram were unable to get legitimate consideration.

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07:  Head coach Jimbo Fisher and quarterback Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles looks on against the Duke Blue Devils during the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Charlotte, Nort
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

While Florida State comes into the year as the No. 1 team in the nation, even one loss could prevent the team from getting a bid to the first-ever playoffs. Losing seven NFL draft picks will certainly make things difficult.

If the Seminoles fail to be legitimate contenders for a national championship, voters will be happy picking someone else. With Marcus Mariota, Bryce Petty, Brett Hundley and others expecting big years, we will not be short on alternatives.

Fans are always looking for something new, which was good for Winston last year but will not help him this time around. He is expecting a great season, but winning the Heisman for a second time will be too difficult to accomplish.

 

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