Ameer Abdullah: Jameis Winston has 'long way to go' in maturity


Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah wants what Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston already has -- a Heisman Trophy -- but it was Abdullah doling out some serious advice for Winston on Monday.

The two college stars both hail from Alabama and consider each other friends. They were high school rivals in the Birmingham area, but they attended several summer camps together and reportedly trained together at the same gym.

However, Winston has been no stranger to off-the-field issues, and the incident that led to his suspension from Florida State's game against Clemson -- Winston yelled an obscene phrase while in the student union -- seems to have rankled his fellow Heisman Trophy candidate and friend. The Cornhuskers star aimed a message Monday squarely at Winston: Grow up.

"(Winston is) a very intelligent young man," Abdullah told the Associated Press. "But he's made his fair share of mistakes. It gets to the point where you feel like he needs to start understanding and take things more seriously because these things can alter what happens in his future."

Abdullah is spot-on in that regard. Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow had a similar message for Winston over the weekend. After Winston's latest incident, NFL Media's Albert Breer spoke to one area scout assigned to Florida State who called Winston a fraud and said that the character concerns about Winston are far more serious than any associated with Johnny Manziel.

"Every situation you do, you represent not only yourself, the university, your family, people who go to the university. So being that guy who's the star down there, he holds much bigger weight than he realizes sometimes," Abdullah added. "I know he's much better than what he's shown.

"Definitely he has a long way to go."

It's not often you hear of one current player saying such things about another, but it seems pretty clear that Abdullah is a bit ticked off at his friend's recent behavior. He, like head coach Jimbo Fisher, likely hopes the full-game suspension will be enough to change Winston's behavior.

Winston will be back in action for the Seminoles this week as they take on undefeated North Carolina State. Abdullah ranks second in the country in rushing yards (625) and his Huskers will play Illinois on Saturday.

It will be no surprise if the two players exchange a few text messages back and forth before each takes the field, though.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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