BEREA, Ohio -- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston might be getting a call from someone who understands dealing with scrutiny after winning a Heisman -- Johnny Manziel.
The Cleveland Browns quarterback said he planned to contact Winston, who missed the Clemson game two weeks ago after making inappropriate public comments on campus, the latest of multiple incidents since breaking out as a Seminoles star in 2013.
The burden of following a Heisman bid is "heavier than the trophy," said Manziel, who has the trophy from the 2012 season in his Cleveland home.
"Jameis is a guy I've had a good relationship with and want to help him in as many ways as I can," said Manziel, who lost the 2013 Heisman to Winston. "For him right now, just try to let as much time pass by to try to let some of these things blow over and worry about the position [the Seminoles] are in as the best team in the country and worry about football in the ACC. ... Everything else will be OK. He's continuing to grow up. He's a young guy, too. Really I think he'll figure it out."
Since his breakout season in College Station, Manziel became known for his off-field exploits as well as his play. He was the subject of an NCAA investigation into whether he sold autographs for profit and fueled social media every time a picture of him enjoying nightlife surfaced online.
"For him right now, just try to let as much time pass by to try to let some of these things blow over and worry about the position [the Seminoles] are in as the best team in the country."Browns rookie Johnny Manziel, on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston
Throwing touchdowns is a small part of following a Heisman season, said Manziel, who threw for 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2013. Manziel said the post-Heisman haze forces you to learn who to trust and who is "hanging around because it's fun to hang around."
"There's a lot of responsibility, a lot of scrutiny now over the past two years ... the last 2-5 years," Manziel said. "That's going to come with it. It's a lot of weight to have on your shoulders. But that's part of what comes with winning the trophy."
A first-round pick and now a backup to Brian Hoyer, Manziel says he misses college at times but "this is the decision I made." On Cleveland's bye week, Manziel attended the Texas A&M-Arkansas game in Arlington, Texas, Manziel's home state.
"I knew very well going into the draft last year it was going to be different for me and going to be time to grow up -- that's the path I chose," he said. "If I wanted to stay in college and sleep in and go to class and horse around like I did the past couple of years, then I should have stayed."