Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston will be forever linked as the first two freshmen to win the Heisman Trophy, doing so in consecutive seasons, and both have their fair share of critics off-the-field, but Winston believes he’s got it easier than the former Texas A&M quarterback and first round pick of the Cleveland Browns.
Winston spoke from the Manning Passing Academy about the differences in the fan bases at Florida State and at Texas A&M where Winston believes the rabid fan base that the Aggies have is one reason why he has admiration for the way Manziel handles his business.
Conversely, the Seminoles signal-caller and first freshman starting quarterback to win a BCS Championship cites the diverse student population at Florida State is a reason why the fan base isn’t as intense and hounding him like the A&M student body did for Manziel.
“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. 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,” Winston said.
“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 was forced to take online classes his final season on campus because of the celebrity status he has at College Station and he may have been his own worst enemy in that regard for his penchant for the nightlife and the circus that follows.
Winston has not been subjected to the paparazzi-like following at Florida State, but he has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, including his spring citation for the theft of crab legs and a sexual assault investigation last season.