Winston: Manziel had more pressure
After a season in which he won the Heisman Trophy, led Florida State to a BCS national championship and faced an investigation into an alleged sexual assault, few players can match the pressure quarterback Jameis Winston has faced.
Yet Winston says the scrutiny he deals with pales in comparison to what Johnny Manziel dealt with at Texas A&M.
"I have some online classes and I have some [regular] classes, but in Johnny's case, I mean, he was getting heckled at Texas A&M," Winston said Friday at the Manning Passing Academy. "They didn't have a player like him. He's electric, he's a great person to be around, he's a fun guy. Of course, he attracts people to him.
"At Florida State, our fan base isn't like that. We are to ourselves. We've got a bunch of foreign girls and foreign boys that don't know [anything] about football. In College Station, they live and breathe that, so he was their idol. People wanted to be around him, so of course it was harder."
Manziel, the No. 22 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in this year's NFL draft, has become a bit of a lightning rod thanks to social media, which has captured him during his weekends away from Cleveland doing things as varied as holding a "money phone" and spraying champagne from an inflatable swan. The regularity of Manziel's weekend soirees prompted Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Joe Montana to weigh in that perhaps Manziel might want to dial things back a bit.
Winston said he is conscious of cellphones and social media while out in public.
"I'm very aware of that, but it's my job to hold myself to a certain standard," Winston said, "so that when people do look at me, they see a great young man and they see a man [whose] parents raised right.
"... It's more of a spotlight now. But that's something that comes with being a quarterback. It's the most scrutinized and praised position in sports. I admire Johnny. Johnny's going to have a great time, or a great career, in the NFL, from my perspective."