Jameis Winston wants to earn degree

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Jameis Winston indicated that he might remain at Florida State beyond the 2014 season, telling NFL.com that earning a degree is "very important" to him while claiming that graduating is "the main purpose in college."

Winston's father, Antonor, made headlines last month when he told AL.com that his family expects the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to play two more seasons with the Seminoles.

Although he didn't provide a firm commitment to his father's comments, Winston reiterated his desire to complete his education.

"It's very important to me," Winston told NFL.com. "I was always raised as a student first and an athlete second.

"I think that's the main purpose in college. Some athletes lose that perspective. It's about being a student-athlete, and not just getting that easy money and going to the league. Even if kids leave early, I would want them to come back and get that degree."

Winston also told NFL.com that he is not focused on his father's assertion.

"I'm not really worried about that," Winston said. "I'm just focusing on the season right now, because this year is going to be one to remember."

Winston enjoyed a record-setting season as a redshirt freshman, winning the Heisman while leading the Seminoles to an undefeated season and national championship that he capped with a last-minute touchdown drive against Auburn.

Many NFL draft experts believed Winston would have been a high first-round pick, possibly No. 1 overall, if he had been eligible for this year's draft in May. ESPN NFL draft insider Mel Kiper Jr. recently tabbed Winston as the No. 1 overall prospect on his 2015 Big Board.

Winston passed for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns while adding 219 yards and four scores on the ground.

But despite his accolades on the field, Winston has endured his share of controversy off it.

Winston, 20, was part of a high-profile sexual assault allegation that didn't result in any charges, plus an incident in which he was issued a civil citation after sheriff's deputies say he walked out of a supermarket without paying for $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish. He was briefly suspended from Florida State's baseball team for that incident before being reinstated after completing 20 hours of community service.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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