Camera crews filed in and out of Hueytown High School to take pictures of Jameis Winston’s retired No. 8 jersey and get footage before his NFL draft celebration. Everyone was in town to see Winston. Plenty of people in these suburban Birmingham towns with a combined population of about 43,000 plan to watch the draft and see if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make Winston the No. 1 overall.
Jameis Winston wanted to have a full NFL draft experience but wanted to spend his big day with his family and friends at home. So, he just combined the two. Every No. 1 overall draft pick since Ohio State defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson in 1994 had attended the draft in person. So it’s not like there was much of a blueprint on how Winston (the presumed top pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) should handle his hometown draft experience. So the Florida State quarterback started out the festivities by rolling out the red carpet. Literally. Warchant.com covered the party, held at the house of a family friend in Bessemer, Ala., as did other outlets who took note of the red carpet set up for the day. “ @melissaykim : At Jameis Winston’s Draft Day party – posing on the red carpet #JameisDraft2015 http://pic.twitter.com/hBCbPJ1fwf ” // #FamousJameis — AQ Beckham, Jr. (@Allen_Quincy) April 30, 2015 Jameis posing with little brother Jonah on the red carpet. #JameisDraft2015 @wiat42 http://pic.twitter.com/ox2KpOPscd — Melissa Y. Kim (@melissaykim) April 30, 2015 People are likely to get mad about this because it’s 2015 and people get mad about everything. But it’s pretty cool, Winston doing up draft night on a smaller scale with his family and friends. He wasn’t at the draft in Chicago, but it’s a huge day in his life and he brought some of the spectacle home to Alabama. Good for him. “As long as the people are enjoying it, I’m good,” Winston’s father Antonor told Warchant.com. “That’s why Jameis stayed home. For his family and for his friends.” The main reason Winston said he wanted to have a draft party at home was to be with his grandmother Myrtle, who has diabetes and can’t travel. She was there with him on Thursday. In hours before NFL draft, Jameis Winston enjoys down-home party with close friends, family. https://t.co/j2lKBFhOn8 http://pic.twitter.com/D3xWOlOvCb — Warchant.com (@Warchant) April 30, 2015 Warchant.com said there were about 100 family members at friends at the gathering. F ried fish, hamburgers and hot dogs, French fries, baked beans and coleslaw were served, Warchant said. It was a casual affair it seemed, red carpet excluded. – – – – – – – Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
Not many men know what Jameis Winston has and will go through as intimately as Cam Newton does. Newton was a national championship and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, full of controversy off the field, and drafted No. 1 overall to an NFC South team who hoped he would carry the franchise to new heights. Unless the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a really shocking change of heart, Winston will be in the exact same situation when the Buccaneers take him first overall in the NFL draft on Thursday night. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football is back: Sign up for a league today! ] Newton has done just fine, helping the Carolina Panthers to two playoff berths while putting up some fantastic numbers with a less-than-stellar supporting cast on offense. But it wasn’t easy, and that’s his biggest bit of advice for Winston, given during on
By Letitia Stein TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) – In a test of second chances, the losing Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to use their No. 1 pick in the National Football League draft on Thursday to sign a standout college quarterback dogged by character questions. Jameis Winston, a 21-year-old Heisman trophy winner, is as famous for his off-field behavior as he is for his throwing arm. He was accused of rape at Florida State University but never faced criminal charges or university punishment. The central Florida team’s apparent willingness to gamble on Winston as the next face of the Buccaneers franchise is drawing measured concern from local women’s advocates after a year in which the league has faced wide criticism for its handling of off-the-field violence by players.