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If quarterback Jameis Winston had it to do over again, he strongly suggested Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters he would have attended Stanford.

“Yeah, just because Stanford is a great school,” said Winston, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida State who is in his second season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“You are who you place yourself around. And I would’ve loved the opportunity to go to Stanford and be with some of my friends out there.”

Linebacker Noor Davis and former Stanford safety Drew Madhu were among Winston’s friends who ended up playing for the Cardinal, he said.

In January 2012, Stanford coach David Shaw called Winston to inform him he had been accepted into the university. But a month later, Winston chose Florida State over Stanford and Alabama.

On Wednesday, Winston said he was “very close” to attending Stanford.

“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 from Palo Alto, I was blown away. But I decided to go to FSU (laughs).

“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.”

 

Winston had a successful career at Florida State but also had his share of off-field issues. He was accused of sexual assault stemming from an incident in December 2012. He was cited for shoplifting in July 2013.

The Buccaneers selected Winston with the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. Winston and his team travel to the Bay Area on Sunday to face the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.