Saints QB Winston graduates from college on Saturday, 7 years after leaving Florida State

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WVUE) — Jameis Winston has long been hailed as a Heisman Trophy winner, collegiate national champion and former NFL draft pick. But on Saturday (April 30), the New Orleans Saints quarterback wins an accolade he’s longed for for years: a college graduate.

Winston, 28, is among 70 student-athletes from Florida State who will receive diplomas this weekend during early spring drills in Tallahassee, the university announced. For Winston, the college degree comes seven years after deciding to give up his final two years of college eligibility to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. He was selected first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Our student-athletes are focused on graduating from the moment they are recruited,” Florida State Vice President and Athletic Director Michael Alford said in a statement. “It’s a top priority for us.”

It was also for Winston. The quarterback took online classes for years to complete the courses required for his bachelor’s degree, and has told interviewers in the past how important getting the degree was to him and his family.

In 2014, Winston told NFL.com that he was majoring in social sciences with a minor in business.

Winston led the Seminoles to a 14-0 record and the 2013 national championship as a redshirt rookie. He left college after his sophomore season, having gone 26–1 and had 65 touchdowns, second in Florida State history.

After failing to land quarterback Deshaun Watson in a trade with Houston, the Saints last month declared Winston their starting quarterback and re-signed him to a $28 million contract extension on two years.

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