NEWPORT BEACH, CA (RNN) - Heisman winners are automatic legends, different from most other people in that we talk about their legacies before they accomplish a single other thing in their lives.
Teammates of Heisman winners know this better than anyone - that is, unless the guy who won the trophy just feels like giving it away.
"I definitely would vote for our team for the Heisman, and when I brought that thing back I said thank you to everybody, and I gave them the trophy," FSU quarterback Jameis Winston said. "I said, 'Hey, this is your trophy.' Actually, the other day at Dave & Busters, somebody told [receiver] Kenny [Shaw] congrats on winning the Heisman. I'm like, you're right - he won it for me."
Maybe that person confused Shaw for Winston. Maybe.
Very few other people have mix-ups like that, especially not the media present at FSU's news conference on Friday.
Cameras popped beyond distraction, and questions flowed when Winston, Shaw and their coaches were on the dais.
Then they got up to leave, and three other FSU players took their seats - running back Devonta Freeman, tight end Nick O'Leary and center Bryan Stork.
The media coordinator almost had to prod reporters to ask questions.
The first question out of the gate was about Winston. The second question was directed at O'Leary: What is it like growing up as the grandson of Jack Nicklaus?
These guys can't seem to escape shadows for anything.
Freeman touches the ball about a dozen times per game, a fraction compared to other featured running backs, and he's listed as 5'9". But he is 30 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season.
That's a major statement for a running back at FSU, which hasn't had a runner top that mark since Warrick Dunn in 1996. Coincidentally, Dunn was also a 5'9" tailback who let his legs do most of the talking.
"I just want to win. It's something that hasn't been done in a long time, but if I don't get 1,000 yards and we win the national championship, that would be a bigger achievement for me," Freeman said.
It helps to have an offensive line stocked with veterans and talent.
That starts with Stork, who won the Rimington Trophy in December, given to the best center in college football.
"He couldn't do it without us and we couldn't do it without him," Stork said. "We're not worried about records, and we're just worried about the W's, and that's what it is. At the end of the day, it's about winning."
Winning gets a lot easier with that much star power in the backfield. It also helps take some of the edge off a season filled with scrutiny and controversy in addition to success.
In other words, if your quarterback is going to bring this much attention to the program, it certainly helps that he's a cool guy.
"Most people wouldn't think we're all good friends because we're all from different backgrounds, but it's very tight," Stork said. "He's just as goofy as the next guy. He's definitely taught us to kind of – because we're more business-like – but he's taught us to kind of loosen up a little bit and just have fun with it. And that's what I've taken from him this season."
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