Despite Johnny Manziel providing a real-life, what-not-to-do blueprint for handling Heisman Trophy attention just a year earlier, the father of Jameis Winston doesn't think his son, his family, or Florida State University did an especially good job of grasping the level of scrutiny that was to come. And as Winston settles back into pitching for the FSU baseball team after a suspension for CrabGate that lasted less than a week, he would do well to strengthen that grasp quickly.
"Not only him. I think it should show the university and us, I think we probably kind of dropped the ball on that a little bit," Antonor Winston told USA Today.
A rape investigation of Winston that sparked national attention in the weeks before he won the Heisman brought Winston a level of scrutiny that even Manziel never experienced. The incident in which Winston was cited for taking crab legs from a grocery store without paying for them showed him what Heisman Trophy attention looks like in the low extreme. Yet, the elder Winston doesn't sound like a man who is convinced his son is ready for anything. He suggested FSU should provide someone to be with his son on a full-time basis.
"He's supposed to have somebody around him 24/7," he said. "He a Heisman Trophy winner, so (he's) definitely not supposed to be by (himself)."
It will be Winston's own choices, however, that determine how his character is weighed by NFL scouts. He could be eligible for the NFL draft as early as 2015 as a third-year sophomore, if he were to declare that early, as Manziel did. NFL Media analyst Gil Brandt indicated Winston can rest assured that NFL clubs won't simply rely on media reports in making judgments about his NFL readiness.
That's a good thing for Winston, so long as he understands that the NFL scouting research will dig even deeper.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.