Winston received 49 out of 56 votes cast by AP Top 25 college football poll voters. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch finished second with three votes. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron got two votes. Boston College running back Andre Williams and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard each received one vote.
Winston is the first Florida State player to win the award, which has been handed out since 1998, and the first from the Atlantic Coast Conference.