Winston, McCarron big winners


Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was selected as the Walter Camp player of the year on Thursday, saying he was "overwhelmed" by the honor before later praising his team for the support it gave him during a trying month.

Winston had faced felony charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a female FSU student at an off-campus apartment on Dec. 7, 2012. But last week, state attorney Willie Meggs decided not to charge the Heisman Trophy favorite.

"I know I did nothing wrong," Winston said from the 23rd Home Depot College Football Awards in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

"People just got to realize that my family, and the coaches, and Coach (Jimbo) Fisher, they just supported me through this whole process, and I just feel so loved by that -- you just don't understand just how much that means to me."

The redshirt freshman is the second player from Florida State to win the Walter Camp award, joining quarterback Charlie Ward in 1993. Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won the Walter Camp last year.

The other finalists were Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and Boston College running back Andre Williams.

McCarron didn't go home empty-handed, beating out Manziel and Winston for the Maxwell Award as the nation's most outstanding player.

Winston, meanwhile, also won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback, beating out Manziel and McCarron again. Six of the last seven winners of the Davey O'Brien have gone on to win the Heisman Trophy.

Winston has set FBS freshman records for yards passing (3,820) and touchdown passes (38), leading No. 1 Florida State (13-0) into the VIZIO BCS National Championship against No. 2 Auburn. His 190.6 passer efficiency rating is tops in the country and is on pace to set an NCAA record.

"When you have a team like that, anyone can go out there and do that," Winston said of the star-studded Seminoles.

The Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards – along with the granddaddy of college football awards, the Heisman – all basically recognize the player of the year. However, they are vote on by different people. Members of the media and past winners vote on the Heisman; sportscasters, sportswriters and head coaches vote on the Maxwell; and sports information directors and head coaches vote on the Walter Camp award.

The Walter Camp Award is administered by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, which has an annual awards dinner in January in New Haven, Conn., while the Maxwell Award is given by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia.

The Heisman will be awarded Saturday at 8 p.m. (ESPN).

Maxwell Award

McCarron became the first Alabama player to win the Maxwell Award as the nation's most outstanding player.

"Super surprised," he said. "I don't think I'm the best player out of the other two guys that were mentioned (Manziel, Winston), but I can't thank them enough. It's an honor to be here."

The fifth-year senior led Alabama to an 11-1 season that left the Crimson Tide just short of a chance to play for their third straight national championship. He threw for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns with five interceptions.

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