November 1, 2013
By Julie Montanaro
FSU quarterback Jameis Winston is on a short list of Heisman contenders going in to tomorrow night's Miami game.
Those who cast ballots for the prestigious trophy will be watching closely.
We talked with two sporstwriters in Tallahassee who have helped to choose past winners.
"Most of the people that have these ballots take them very seriously," Brent Kallestead said.
Brent Kallestead cast a Heisman ballot for nearly two decades ... including votes for FSU Heisman winners Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke.
"Usually the cream rises to the top," he said.
The retired sports writer - who spent 40 years with the Associated Press - says Jameis Winston can boost his chances for a Heisman during the Miami game Saturday night.
"If he plays well and they win, hes right in the middle of it and I think Mariota out at Oregon will continue to play well too. He's a tremendous athlete. Right now I think its a two man race," Kallestead said.
Charlie Ward was the first FSU quarterback to win the Heisman in 1993 and Chris Weinke was the second in 2000.
Jameis Winston now has a shot at becoming the third FSU QB to win the beloved bronze.
"He puts out fantastic numbers, so I think all the stats geeks will be happy with that, and I think he has the personality of a Heisman winner as well, Sometimes just being gregarious on camera can really help. It helps the voters know who he is and the fans root for the guys," former Heisman voter John Crist said.
John Crist is a former writer for FoxSports ... who covered both the Chicago Bears and Florida State Seminoles. He cast five Heisman ballots in his career, but only one for a winner.
"If you look at the last several years, the Heisman winners have all had big moments in big games and usually the later in the year the better...so he (Winston) was incredible against Clemson which really solidified him as a candidate he needs to do that again Saturday against Miami that's another big environment in a top ten matchup," Crist said.
Crist said it's too bad the Miami game didn't come later in the season, because a win over a ranked team late in the season is still fresh in the minds of voters at season's end.
Kallestead said Winston would be the yougest Heisman winner ever and if that happens, FSU would claim both the youngest and oldest Heisman winners of all time, Weinke was the oldest at 28.