TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jameis Winston made headlines this week claiming he hoped to avoid "Manziel disease," a reference to the off-field issues surrounding Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, and in the process the Florida State quarterback got a firsthand lesson on how tough the media scrutiny can be.
Winston's comments only followed a question from a reporter who used the "Manziel disease" phrasing, but when the FSU quarterback repeated it in his answer, the quote gained national attention and made the rounds on Twitter and other social media outlets.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said he wasn't upset with Winston and understood his quotes were attributed without the proper context, but he said it should be a good lesson to the highly touted quarterback that everything he says will be scrutinized.
"I always tell him, 'Are you getting attention or are you talking for a purpose?' " Fisher said. "There's two different ideas there. Sometimes when you're young, you like for people to listen to you. Just make sure you're doing it within your personality, but you're talking for a reason. And remember you're representing you, your family and your organization."
Winston, who has earned attention as a top recruit and star in the making during the past year, was the star of Florida State's annual fall media day session Sunday, entertaining a throng of reporters for about 15 minutes. When a reporter asked what would happen if he got "Manziel disease" amid all the hype, Winston offered a lighthearted reply.
"If I get Manziel disease, I want every one of you all to get your mikes and start slapping me on the head," he joked.
Winston quickly added that he'd heard only good things about Manziel, and that he saw many similarities between them -- making Manziel's off-field troubles a good reminder of what can happen when the spotlight is on him.
"It's good to see things like that because he's a great guy, he's like me -- he's fun, he's outgoing," Winston said. "But sometimes when all eyes are on you, you can't do certain things."
The prompt reaction to his "Manziel disease" quote underscored that lesson, Fisher said.
Winston has not been made available to the media since the comments, and while Fisher said he didn't feel his quarterback had done anything wrong, he could choose to limit Winston's interaction with the press going forward.
Winston is currently battling sophomore Jacob Coker for the Seminoles' starting quarterback job. The team scrimmaged for the first time in fall camp Wednesday, but Fisher said he's still not close to tabbing a starter for Florida State's opener at Pittsburgh.