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EJ Manuel mentoring FSU QB Jameis Winston

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Gerry Broome/Associated Press
Florida State QB Jameis Winston still has much work to do in rehabbing his image.

If Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston manages to rehabilitate his image as a poor decision-maker off the field, Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel could be the one he'll be thanking.

The former Seminoles teammates -- Manuel's last year as Florida State's starter was Winston's redshirt season in 2012 -- are regularly in touch. And according to NFL Media reporter Albert Breer, Manuel is taking on a role that goes beyond friendship.

Signs of their friendship aren't hard to find. Recall, Manuel was among the names Winston forwarded when he took the ice bucket challenge over the summer. And Manuel has said his counseling of Winston goes back as far as Manuel's last season with FSU.

The latest round of questions about Winston's character stemmed from an outburst of vulgarity at the FSU student union that bought him a one-game suspension against Clemson, one which nearly cost the Seminoles their first loss since 2012. As one of the most talented quarterbacks in the nation, and a Heisman Trophy winner with a national championship on his resume, Winston could eventually be in Manuel's position as a potential first-round NFL draft pick.

As a third-year sophomore, Winston could declare NFL draft eligibility as early as 2015, but has maintained that his pursuit of a degree from FSU is important to him, even if that means putting off the draft for another year. Winston's father has also said his son will play at FSU through 2015.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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