College football’s last two Heisman winners have been two of the most scrutinized players in the history of the sport.
Johnny Manziel, winning it in 2012 while at Texas A&M, is seemingly always at the focus of criticism due to his life of partying.
Jameis Winston, winning it in 2013 at Florida State, was the center of a highly publicized sexual assault investigation and was cited for stealing crab legs from a Publix grocery store this spring.
Who’s had it tougher? Winston says Manziel did.
— NFL (@nfl) July 12, 2014
Winston, who’s spent the past couple of days as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana, told NFL.com:
“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.”
Winston continued, saying he knows that the attention and scrutiny comes with being a famous collegiate athlete.
“I’m very aware of that, but it’s my job to hold myself to a certain standard, so that when people do look at me, they see a great young man and they see a man (whose) parents raised right,” Winston said. “… 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.”
Who’s college career will be looked upon more highly?
Both could end up spending only two years on the field, as Manziel opted to declare for the NFL following his redshirt sophomore season in 2013. Winston will likely be a first-round pick in the 2015 Draft, if he chooses to declare after his upcoming redshirt sophomore year.
Manziel has the electric plays, but Winston has the national championship, and another year to add to his resume.
One thing is certain: both players will continue to get scrutinized.