Quarterback coach explains why No. 1 NFL Draft prospect Jameis Winston looked out of shape 5 weeks ago

Since the NFL season ended Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has seen his draft stock steadily rise.

He’s now considered the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the draft could go No. 1 overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to most experts.

But the NFL Draft world had a mini freakout over Presidents’ Day weekend when a viral “fat Jameis” picture showing the QB looking a little thick in the midsection made its way around the internet.

The photo in question:

The NFL combine — a pre-draft camp where prospects go through drills in front of NFL scouts — starts on Friday. The incentive for Winston to be in the best shape of his life couldn’t be higher. A slip from the No. 1 pick to the middle of the first round could cost him millions of dollars in the long run. So what’s going on here?

George Whitfield, the quarterback guru who’s working with Winston in the run-up to the combine, explained the picture to USA Today’s Jim Corbett.

He said it was taken five weeks ago, on the second day the two started working together. Since then, he has lost up to 15 pounds. Whitfield added that he naturally pushes out his stomach when he throws, hence the gut:

“He’s lost about 12-15 pounds. When you hear stuff about Jameis, the weight and he’s getting fat — What do people think that I’ve been golfing while he’s been playing Call of Duty?

He’s always had a thing about pushing his stomach out. I hadn’t seen the pic until Saturday. You smile about it because people got it and they jumped on it. When I saw him later, Jameis laughed and said, ‘I’m going to be out in front of the world in a couple of days anyway.'”

In another interview with SI’s Peter King, Whitfield said Winston played through a high ankle sprain all year, so the two spent their training camp getting him healthy and in shape.

Whitfield posted a photo of a not-fat Jameis over the weekend. We’ll getting a better look at him at the combine:

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