The 2015 NFL Draft is expected to see a big influx of marquee underclassmen quarterbacks, but the list may not include arguably the biggest name - reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.
Antonor Winston, father of the Florida State star, told AL.com recently that his son plans to stay in school until he graduates in December 2015, meaning two more seasons on the gridiron for the Seminoles.
"We want Jameis to succeed with one more year in baseball and two more years in football," Antonor Winston said. "We've never strayed from our plan that he is going to be in college until he gets that degree."
A redshirt sophomore, Winston will be three years removed from high school next spring and eligible for the 2015 Draft. Since 1970, only four redshirt sophomore quarterbacks have left the college ranks early and landed in the draft's first round, including Johnny Manziel with the Cleveland Browns last month, so it's an uncommon occurrence.
But like Manziel, Winston isn't exactly a common NFL prospect.
Currently working toward an engineering degree, Winston might also be a high pick in the Major League Baseball draft, giving the 20-year old options that could persuade him to stay in Tallahassee beyond this season. After all, what's the rush? The NFL isn't going anywhere and the Winston family wants education to come before the professional contract.
The senior crop of quarterback prospects is fairly thin, but there is a strong group of redshirt juniors that includes Oregon's Marcus Mariota, the top-rated prospect for 2015 by NFLDraftScout.com, UCLA's Brett Hundley and Oregon's Kevin Hogan. Winston is the top-rated redshirt sophomore prospect.
Winston's trophy case already includes a Heisman, Conference Player of the Year honors and a BCS National Championship after an unprecedented freshman season. But despite numerous accolades and impressive performances for a young player, Winston is far from a perfect NFL prospect. He has an elongated delivery, needs to continue his mental development and the off-field red flags have been plentiful.
The good far outweighs the bad, however, and if Winston shows consistent progression on the field he'll likely be viewed as an early first round pick whenever he goes pro.
Regardless of prior plans, Winston's performance in 2014 will likely be the most substantial indicator to whether or not he ultimately bolts early for the NFL. He doesn't need to make a decision on his NFL future until January, so the comments of Winston's father should be received as nothing more than one of Winston's several options.
(Dane Brugler is an Analyst for www.NFLDraftScout.com), a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with CBSSports.com.