Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, projected to be the first overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, has possibly cleared up what happened when he received a shoplifting citation last year for taking crab legs from a Tallahassee, Fla., grocery store.
During an appearance on ESPN’s “Draft Academy,” Winston said he never stole the crab legs from a Publix grocery store on April 29, 2014, and that they instead were given to him by an employee.
Winston was issued a civil citation for shoplifting after he walked out of the supermarket without paying for $32.72 worth of crab legs and crawfish.
“How I’m supposed to handle, like, if I just got them for free? I just say, ‘I just messed up?’” Winston asked Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh during the ESPN show, which aired Tuesday night but was taped before the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
Winston said it wasn’t the first time he had gotten free food from an individual working at that store.
“Well, a week before, it was my buddy’s birthday and we had got a cake. And we met a dude that worked inside Publix and he said, ‘Hey, anytime you come in here, I got you.’ So that day we just walked out and he hooked us up with that,” Winston told Harbaugh when asked to elaborate on the incident.
“And when I came in to get crab legs, I did the same thing and he just gave them to me and I walked out. And someone from inside the store had told the security that I didn’t pay for them. And that’s how the whole thing started.”
When Winston was arrested, he told deputies he had forgotten to pay. Winston eventually paid the $32.72 and did 20 hours of community service.
NFLDraftScout.com ranks Winston as the No. 1 overall prospect in the draft, which will take place in Chicago beginning April 30.
General manager Jason Licht said he knows everyone wants to know, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are preserving the drama surrounding the No. 1 pick in the draft.
“If we had to pick today,” Licht said Monday, “we’d feel very comfortable making the first pick.”