Carson Wentz has seen much more than Fargo, North Dakota, in his days since he last starred at the FCS level of college football.
He's happy to pass along such wisdom to his fellow former Bison signal-caller.
Quarterback Trey Lance, the third-overall pick of the 49ers in April, joined Wentz at the latter's charity softball game over the weekend, and while he didn't play in the game, he was happy to return to his college town following his graduation from college quarterback to the NFL. Like Lance, Wentz was a top pick just five years ago. And like Wentz, Lance might soon become the face of a franchise's new hope under center.
Wentz is again the symbol of belief in a brighter future for a team, but not the one that initially selected him. He's been through his own trying year, falling from grace in Philadelphia amid a nightmarish season for both quarterback and club before being traded to Indianapolis. He's seen the highs and lows of the NFL in his still-young career, he knows of the road ahead of Lance, and he believes Lance is equipped to handle it.
"There are going to be a million things pulling you in one direction, then the other direction, pressure, expectations, all these things," Wentz said of the message he delivered to Lance, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "But I know Trey. He's got a great head on his shoulders. He's young, age-wise, but he's very mature. I know he's going to be just fine.
"He's in a great situation. They have a great culture there in San Fran, a good coaching staff. So I know he's going to do a great job, and I'm excited for him. I just keep telling him to be himself: 'Don't let any of those things change who you are, change your values, change your perspective on football. Just go play.'"
Wentz's fortitude was tested on many occasions in 2020 before he ultimately experienced a significant change in scenery, so he's not just spouting platitudes for a microphone. Lance's road should be at least slightly different, though.
Unlike Wentz, Lance isn't going to San Francisco to immediately lead the franchise to success. He'll most likely begin by sitting behind Jimmy Garoppolo while learning how to effectively perform at the professional level before eventually taking over as the 49ers' quarterback of the future.
Lance will be afforded the time to learn, something Wentz had to do almost immediately in Philadelphia. For a while, Wentz looked to be the real deal until a stark regression in 2020 ended his time as an Eagle. Lance won't quite be thrown into the fire -- at least that's not expected as of now.
Regardless of the circumstances, Lance will feel the pressure Wentz described above. If he listens to Wentz's words of wisdom, perhaps he'll find his time with his first team to be more pleasant than Wentz's final season was in Philadelphia.
Only time will tell. For now, Lance has plenty of it to do exactly what Wentz advised: Just go play.