NEW YORK — After being announced as the 79th Heisman Trophy winner, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston went up to the podium and flashed his signature smile.
The freshman phenom hopes to be smiling even wider in a few weeks.
Winston won the Heisman Trophy in a landslide on Saturday night, becoming the youngest player to capture college football’s most prestigious individual honor.
“This Heisman isn’t just for Jameis Winston, it’s for Florida State,” Winston said during his Heisman Trophy speech.
The gregarious 19-year-old-and-342-day Winston is the second straight freshman to win the award after Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first to do so last season.
Winston has thrown for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns, both FBS freshman records. He helped unbeaten Florida State (13-0) climb to No. 1 in the BCS standings for the first time in 14 years. The Seminoles will play No. 2 Auburn for the national title on Jan. 6.
After Winston was not charged in a sexual assault case stemming from events in December 2012, many of the voters weren’t afraid to stay away.
Winston’s margin of victory was the fifth largest in the modern era — last 50 years. He earned 668 first-place votes and 2,205 points, 1,501 more than Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, who finished second with 704 points.
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch was third with 558 points, Boston College running back Andre Williams came in fourth with 470 points, Manziel was fifth with 421 points and Auburn running back Tre Mason finished sixth with 404 points.
Some of the voters, though, did seem to shy away as Winston was left off of 115 ballots entirely.