Florida State Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston is "a tremendous human being" who has learned from his mistakes, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said.
"Jameis is a tremendous person," Fisher told the media at the L'Arche Mobile DEX Imaging Football Preview in Mobile, Ala. "He's a tremendous people person. When you're around him, you get his magnetic personality. He loves people. He loves fans. He's great with kids. He's a tremendous human being."
Winston has had some well-publicized issues, including being the focus of a sexual-assault investigation late last year -- no charges ever were filed -- and a shoplifting incident involving $32.72 worth of crab legs last month for which he did 20 hours of community service.
"I think ... people have to realize that Jameis is a young man who's made some mistakes, just like any other kid at that age is going to make them," Fisher said. "He has not made any things that cannot be taken care of, just like any other normal student that's 18 to 22 years old, that can't be fixed. You grow and mature from every situation that you have."
Whether he does indeed "grow and mature" will be something NFL scouts will watch; Winston is a third-year sophomore who will be eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft. NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks has Winston atop his "Quarterbacks to Watch" list for 2014, but says Winston "must make amends for the off-field behavior that's led to concerns about his maturity and focus."
Winston now is focused on helping FSU's baseball team advance in the NCAA baseball tournament. The Seminoles are seeded fifth overall and are hosting one of 16 regionals this weekend; regional play begins Friday afternoon. Winston is 1-0 with seven saves and a 1.17 ERA for FSU.
Fisher isn't worried about Winston playing two sports.
"He could (get injured) just playing 7-on-7 football and blowing a knee. You hear so many guys that do that," Fisher said.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.