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Jameis Winston on 2015 NFL Draft: 'I'm not focused on that at all'


PASADENA, Calif. -- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston dismissed any questions that his first loss as a college quarterback would be his only one before moving on to the 2015 NFL Draft following the Seminoles' blowout loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Thursday night.

"I'm not focused on that at all," said Winston, a redshirt sophomore, when asked if he had any NFL plans in the future. "I'm looking forward to next season and playing baseball. I'm just trying to get better every day."

There has been speculation over the last several months that Winston, with a number of off-the-field issues complicating his ability to stay in Tallahassee, would be playing his final season before declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft.

FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher noted earlier this week that he had some conversations with Winston about his draft decision, but indicated that any such announcement would be made closer to the Jan. 15 deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft.

Winston threw for 348 yards with a touchdown and interception in the College Football Playoff semifinal game, but came up far short of expectations on the scoreboard in FSU's 59-20 loss, Winston's first-ever loss as a starter in college. Winston was one of the few Seminoles who was able to reflect positively on the team's run over the past few years despite the loss.

"It hurts badder than whatever you can imagine, but the good thing is we live to fight another day," Winston said. "I just hope that we can learn from this because I ain't felt this way in a long time, I've got to say. So that's something to smile on."

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks said he felt that even after the shaky performance at the Rose Bowl, Winston is a better prospect than Oregon's Marcus Mariota, this year's Heisman Trophy winner.

Based on his answer Thursday night, however, Winston is either playing his cards close to the vest or could be seriously considering a return to Florida State next season.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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