BEREA -- The first sizeable crowd Johnny Manziel has been around in Cleveland ended up being half his height.
The elementary school kids numbered in the hundreds at Grindstone Elementary School, and the shrieks were in the ultra-high decibel range.
"This is the first time any of us have really been out and about in Cleveland," said Browns rookie defensive back Justin Gilbert. "I'm getting used to the excitement that surrounds Johnny Football!"
Gilbert, Manziel and a dozen Browns rookies were helping the Browns promote their First And Ten community campaign that encourages everyone from NFL greats to third-graders to give of their time to charity.
The time these 12 spent with these kids was a good first step.
"I was standing with the president of the Browns when Johnny Football walked in front of me, and I got to shake his hand," said fourth-grader Luke Devins. "That was very cool."
Manziel shared how his experience of being mentored by volunteers at the YMCA in Texas growing up framed his future.
"Those coaches got me ready for football and college," Manziel said.
Wednesday night Manziel and Gilbert are throwing out the ceremonial first pitches at the Indians game. When asked if there were any butterflies, both referenced having played baseball in high school.
When asked if the shrieking sounds of pre-teenagers rattled him at all inside the Berea gymnasium, he was quick to point out it wasn't his first rodeo.