San Francisco 49ers

Jameis Winston, Stanford star? Bucs QB asks himself ‘what if’ all the time

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston speaks to the media after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston speaks to the media after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. AP

SANTA CLARA -- Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston said Stanford was a close second to Florida State when he was choosing colleges back in 2011. On Wednesday he suggested that if he could do it over again he'd make Stanford No. 1.

“You are who you place yourself around," Winston said on a conference call with 49ers reporters. "And I would’ve loved the opportunity to go to Stanford and be with some of my friends out there.”

Winston's missteps at Florida State are well-documented. He was accused of sexual assault after an incident in Florida in 2012. He was cited for shoplifting crab legs at a Publix in July 2013.

Would he have avoided those incidents if he had attended Stanford?

“It’s two different environments; it’s two different places,” Stanford coach Davis Shaw told the Mercury News in 2014. “I don’t know what would have happened.”

Shaw also said he felt close to landing Winston, whom the Buccaneers drafted No. 1 overall last year.

“I love Jameis," Shaw said. "He’s a really, really good person, regardless of what some might think. He’s just made some bad decisions.”

Winston on Sunday will make his first trip to the Bay Area since his recruiting visit. The 49ers hope to end a five-game losing skid against Tampa Bay at Levi’s Stadium.

“When I got accepted into Stanford, me and my family were excited,” he said. “I actually took my visit out there to make my final decision. When I came out to Palo Alto, I was blown away. But I decided to go to FSU.”

“It was me just really not knowing how prestigious Stanford was. I look back all the time and see how if I’d gone to Stanford which way my life could’ve turned. But, you know, you make decisions and you go with them and you own them.”

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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