Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden joined Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker this week in weighing in on the immaturity of FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, and like the two Heisman Trophy winners before him, Saint Bobby did not mince words.
"Jameis has got to grow up. He does things that kids in grammar school would do, or kids in junior high would do, you know it?," Bowden told ESPN. "I think once he draws the line, and says 'I'm not going to step below this another time,' I think he can do that. But if he don't, he's going to make it mighty tough on himself."
Bowden was no stranger to discipline issues as the Seminoles' head coach for 34 seasons from 1976 to 2009, but Winston's track record of issues has been unlike anything even Bowden experienced, much less current coach Jimbo Fisher. Winston has managed to draw negative attention in all sorts of ways, from legal issues, to NCAA issues, to ill-advised clowning.
Bowden also believes Winston's stock as an NFL draft prospect has suffered as a result.
"I think his draft status has already dropped way down, you know," Bowden said. "But what's amazing to me about him, I don't care what goes on off the field, once he gets under the center, he blocks everything else out. It don't affect the way he plays."
Winston and the Seminoles play host Saturday to Notre Dame in the nation's marquee matchup of the weekend. Winston would be eligible to enter the 2015 NFL Draft if he foregoes his remaining NCAA eligibility, but the third-year sophomore has hinted he plans to stay at Florida State for as long as it takes to acquire his undergraduate degree.