TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) — Former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is claiming he never stole crab legs from a Florida grocery store, saying instead that a store employee gave them to him.

Winston told ESPN that a Publix employee in Tallahassee told him that he would “hook him” up.

“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 explained to ESPN.

The former Heisman-winning quarterback continued: “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 I didn’t pay for them. And that’s how the whole thing started.”

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office issued Winston a citation last April for stealing $32 worth of crab legs and other seafood items. Major Michael Wood said during a press conference at the time that Winston told authorities he simply forgot to pay.

Florida State coach Jumbo Fisher said Wednesday during an Atlantic Coast Conference coaches teleconference that Winston’s comments are likely true.

“If he says it is, I guess it is,” Fisher said, adding that it appears to be “totally an isolated incident.”

Fisher says FSU’s compliance office contacted the store after Winston’s citation last year and again Wednesday.

Winston is expected to be one of the top picks in the upcoming NFL Draft.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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