By Kevin Hageland for 105.3 The Fan | CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS, Texas (105.3 THE FAN) – Jameis Winston is a smart man.

I know, I know!  Whether it’s because he was alleged to have been involved in a BB gun battle, might have stolen soda from Burger King or was questioned regarding a sexual assault, plenty of people have questioned the Florida State quarterback’s judgment.

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But if you look at Winston’s most recent comments, he knows exactly what he’s doing.

On the heels of an ESPN survey with the top 300 2015 football recruits where 60% of them said players should be able to unionize – and 86.4% said players should receive a stipend, Winston took a different view Monday at ACC Media Days.

[Being a student-athlete is] very important to me,” he said. “I was always raised as a student first and athlete second. I think that’s the main purpose in college. Some athletes lose that perspective. It’s about being a student-athlete; not just getting that easy money and going to the league. Even if kids leave early, I would want them to come back and get that degree…we’re blessed to get a free education, and that’s enough for me.”

Hear that NFL? Winston is a team player!

I don’t mean to insinuate that Winston doesn’t mean exactly what he’s saying about college football players being paid, but I also think he is making that statement with an eye on being the No. 1 pick in the 2015 or 2016 NFL Draft.

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Make no mistake about it, there is a great deal of cooperation between the NCAA and NFL, and it sure would come in handy for Winston to already have the aura of a company man and team player when he gets to his interviews at the NFL Combine. This stance won’t completely wipe away the character concerns an NFL team might having regarding Winston, but it’ll certainly help.

And that’s the biggest takeaway for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

He’s finally saying the right things off the field, because once he gets on the field in a little more than a month – his play will do all the other talking necessary.

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