|Jameis Winston won the Heisman Trophy and led Florida State to national title last season.|
The state of Alabama loves college football. And that love, apparently, occasionally transcends state borders.
Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston led Florida State to a win over Auburn in the BCS championship game last season. But Winston is an Alabama native and that appears to trump all, as his hometown will fete him next week.
Hueytown, Ala., has scheduled a "Jameis Winston Day" for July 5. The neighboring town of Bessemer (which, by the way, is the hometown of Bo Jackson) also will be involved. Winston grew up in Bessemer and played youth-league football in that town. Both towns are suburbs of Birmingham.
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Hueytown council member Fran Zinnerman told AL.com that officials will present Winston with a key to the city. The city also plans two permanent signs in the community, including one at Hueytown High, to honor Winston. In addition, she said Winston will be issued a proclamation by the city declaring the date as "Jameis Winston Day."
Zinnerman said she expects Winston's family -- as well as elected local officials -- to attend the ceremony and for the quarterback to speak at the event.
"After he won the Heisman and he led Florida State to the championship, we knew that we would do something to recognize that," Zinnerman told AL.com. "That was a great accomplishment."
She said Winston's off-field issues, which include a guilty plea in a shoplifting incident and being investigated and cleared in a sexual assault case, have no bearing on the event.
"We were actually scheduling this ceremony when it was convenient for Jameis to get home after the baseball season. ... None of that stuff had any bearing on our decision to honor Jameis," she said. "We wanted to recognize him as a Heisman Trophy winner, a graduate of Hueytown High and a resident of Hueytown. That's why he is being recognized."
Winston will be a third-year sophomore for the Seminoles this fall and thus is eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft. But his father recently said he expects Jameis to remain in school through his junior season.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.