Jameis Winston blazed through the nation in two seasons as the Heisman-winning quarterback of the Florida State Seminoles. A charismatic, competitive beast who thrived in the spotlight, Winston ricocheted all the media attention on himself to take pressure off his teammates.
Though it often seemed like a one-man show at Doak Campbell Stadium in North Florida, there was a major reason Winston was able to take the country by storm.
His offensive line.
On blitzing plays from defenses, Winston was sacked just three times during the 2014 college football campaign. And a sturdy pillar of that offensive line was Browns first-round pick Cameron Erving. Known around Tallahassee as the ultimate teammate, Erving willingly switched his position from left tackle to center in the middle of the season, helping spark the Seminoles offense.
"Not only was he my center, but he was my blindside as well," said Winston on Friday at the NFC Rookie Symposium Play 60 event in Berea. "He's a great player. He works hard. He is very excited to be (in Cleveland). I was FaceTiming the other day. He's such a great person. I thank God every day he was protecting me at Florida State.
"Cam's just a versatile player. He wanted to be able to show all of his talents. I think he played a big role, we had some young guys step up and he played a big role (in their development)."
Of course the year prior, Erving and Winston were crowned National Champions after defeating Auburn 34-31, after a prolific game-winning drive. Erving went on to win back-to-back Jacobs Blocking Trophies, honoring the ACC's best offensive lineman. Cleveland selected the Georgia native with the 19th overall pick in April.
"That year was so special, that every day was a moment with all those guys," Winston said. "We had such a great family. Cam was just such a huge asset to that team."
Erving will see Winston on Aug. 29, when the Browns travel to Tampa Bay for club's third preseason game.