Jameis Winston, whose controversial college career was topped by a 2013 national title, has decided to leave Florida State University and enter this year's National Football League Draft.
Jimbo Fisher, who coached the Seminoles to the 2013 crown and freshman quarterback Winston to the Heisman Trophy as US college gridiron's top player, confirmed the move Wednesday after Winston's father first said his son was taking his talents to the NFL.
"I would like to wish Jameis nothing but success at the next level as I think he'll be extremely successful," Fisher said. "He's one of the unique players that I've ever had the privilege to coach."
The team went 26-1 with him guiding the attack but the defeat came last week in a humbling loss to Oregon in a national playoff semi-final.
Winston's troubles off the field were as notable as his success on it. He was accused of sexual assault in December of 2012 and fought the claims for two years. Winston was cleared by the state of Florida in December of 2013, then went through a university code of conduct hearing on the matter last month and was cleared once again.
He was benched for a September game for a lewd comment about women on college campuses and in October claims arose that he might have taken money for autographing items and memorabilia in violation of college amateurism rules.
"I want to thank him for the way he represented himself and the organization in so many tough situations," Fisher said. "I have nothing but respect for everything Jameis stands for, what he is and what he will do in the future."
Winston set national freshman records with 4,057 passing yards and 40 touchdowns in 2013 and this past season he threw for 3,907 yards and 25 touchdowns.