SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio - Ted Ginn, Jr. visited a local jewelry shop, checking out new watches when the topic of Johnny Manziel came up.
The former Glenville High School Tarblooder, Ohio State Buckeye and now an Arizona Cardinal wide receiver in the NFL said seeing his former Tarblooder and Buckeye teammate Dante Witner finding his way onto the Cleveland Browns was a huge dream come true that Manziel should use as an example to never forget from where one may come on their way to the spotlight.
"To be Manziel in Cleveland is a big deal. It's a great success for our city," said Ginn, Jr. "It's great when a team recognizes your talent. A guy like Manziel brings great things to a football team. You know, I wish him luck. Having a guy like Dante Witner there now, who I also played with, they have a great quarterback on both sides of the ball now, so they should do great things."
It's the lesson of leadership that Ginn, Jr., and his former teammate Witner gleaned from Ginn, Sr. that have served them both well in the NFL after growing up in the tough inner city of Cleveland. Ginn, Sr. has always stressed the citizen-family-strength part of each of his student athletes.
The feedback from Ginn's graduates is often something that's keeps himself grounded. The reminder that, "Nothing in life is guaranteed. That one has to make it happen with their own perseverance," has served many of his students well.
Ginn hopes Manziel will remember his roots. The roots that landed him in his current position.
"Everybody wants a winner. I think that he has given everybody that example from his high school career to his college career they he's a winner. So everybody is hoping and praying that he's going to bring that same action here. That's why he's got all of the hype going on," said Ginn, Sr.
But, a football player's hype in any city can quickly wane if production on the field doesn't meet anywhere close to fan's expectations, Cleveland especially.
"Some people have great work ethics that's going to determine they're future. But we always believe at Glenville High School that we're going to work hard because the harder you work the luckier you become. Ted, Dante, people like that have always worked hard and never changed their work-ethic from when they were in high school. So, I'm not surprised that those kids have nine and eight years in the NFL because they are hard workers. They bought and believed in the system that was put in place in Glenville," said Ginn. "Manziel needs to remember the hard work from his years growing up because that's why he's been a winner."
Ginn added that all of his students athletes, including his own son, is to remember one thing above all else.
"You can win. You can be a winner of it all. You can have all the hype and all that goes with that, but what you become as a man is what's most important."