Myron Rolle knew Jameis Winston long before the nation knew the 2013 Heisman winner, meeting the young quarterback when he was just a high-school star in Bessemer, Alabama. Rolle, who played at Florida State from 2006 to 2008, says Winston is a "good-hearted kid" and a "passionate leader."
In a HuffPost Live interview on Thursday, however, Rolle was frank about Winston's string of troubling incidents the last year and a half, including an sexual assault investigation, stealing crab legs from a Publix and shouting a profane internet meme on a cafeteria table, among other things.
"The only problem with Jameis right now -- well, he's got a couple problems -- but the biggest one in my opinion is that his maturation process is taking quite a long time," Rolle told host Marc Lamont Hill. "He's trying to mature in front of the public eye and the public spotlight."
For all of his off-field miscues, Winston has a perfect record since becoming Florida State's starting quarterback last season (19-0), including a national championship 2013 campaign. Rolle said he hasn't seen Winston yet this year in Tallahassee, Florida. Rolle is attending medical school at Florida State after a brief period spent in the NFL.
"I haven't been able to wrestle him down in Tallahassee and talk to him and speak life into him, but if I could," Rolle said, "I would tell him, 'Look, you have a huge microscope on you. It's difficult to mitigate the pressures you're feeling every single day, just being an absolute rockstar here in Tallahassee and around the country. But, my brother, you need to because people are counting on you. People look up to you. People see you as a role model and as a leader. And with that call, there comes a certain level of responsibility.'"
Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the rest of Rolle's amazing story here.
Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!