New York - Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday for college football's best player with a performance so dominant that even a criminal investigation couldn't derail his candidacy.
Winston became the second straight player to win the prestigious award in his first year of college, following Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel last year. He is also the youngest winner at 23 days short of 20 years old.
"I cannot explain the feeling that I have inside right now," Winston said. "I'm so overwhelmed. It's awesome."
Winston is the nation's top-rated passer and has led the top-ranked Seminoles to the college football title game against No. 2 Auburn in January. Florida State's average margin of victory this season is 42 points.
The quarterback was investigated last month for a year-old sexual assault, but no charges were filed and the case was closed four days before Heisman votes were due.
A female student at Florida State had accused Winston of rape. Winston's attorney said the sex was consensual.
Winston continued to play as the Florida state attorney's office investigated the complaint. The investigation has taken some of the shine off Winston's Heisman coronation, at least for some.
But if the question is simply who was college football's best player in 2013, Winston was the clear answer.
Winston is on pace (190.1) to break quarterback Russell Wilson's record for best passer efficiency rating in a season and set Football Bowl Subdivision freshman records for yards passing (3,820) and touchdown passes (38).
He received 668 first-place votes and 2,205 points, finishing well ahead of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron in second place. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch was third, followed by Boston College's Andre Williams, Manziel and Auburn's Tre Mason.
Manziel was the first freshman to win the Heisman and was trying to join Ohio State's Archie Griffin as a two-time winner.