A lot of talk is circling around college football standout, Rhodes Scholar and NFL hopeful Myron Rolle. Its been rumored NFL scouting staffs have been reticent to rank him high on their draft boards until they figure out where his head is at.
FSU S Myron Rolle. He has been out of football for a year after attending Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. But now he wants his shot at the NFL. He is in the right physical shape — you would be hard pressed to find an ounce of body fat on him. But there are some draft pundits who wonder whether his year off will hurt him simply because coaches want to draft guys who eat, sleep and breathe football. Rolle has grander pursuits in mind.
Coaches who want academics to be a secondary pursuit to football isn’t new to Rolle.
In a recent interview in Sports Illustrated (SI.com), Myron told reporters he chose Florida State “because it was the only school that was committed to aiding me in reaching my goals as a standout student…” In keeping with tradition, Mr. Rolle has exemplified achievement at every turn in his collegiate career. As an Exercise Science/Biology Pre- Med student, Brother Rolle has maintained a near perfect GPA of 3.75.
But at the NFL level it isn’t necessarily unfair.
The NFL wants players who are smart about football and smart enough off the field. I’ve gotta agree with G.D. at PostBourgie when he says that Rikyrah of Jack and Jill Politics opinion that a white player wouldn’t be scrutinized like this isn’t true.
Tim Tebow is the toast of college football. Every Saturday where he played was an almost unbearable chorus of football analysts professing him a titan among men. He has been for 4 years. Just another strong jawed, quick smile, god fearing, linebacker flattening, “role model”.
During the college offseasons, he didn’t fix what his mechanics, see Tebow has what scouts call a looping throwing motion that is just too slow for NFL play. As a result, the QB that is perfectly fine for college, is the first QB football people doubt can make it in the NFL. Too many people whose paychecks depend on them knowing football thought Tebow couldn’t be a pro quarterback after his college football career and they definitely wouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt after his Senior Bowl performance. Tebow often summered in the Phillipines to do missionary work with his family. Scouts don’t doubt his dedication to football, he never took a year off, but scouts do wonder about his dedication to being an NFL quarterback. His whiteness nor his Hesiman Trophy have saved him from this criticism.
Rolle has basically had a year off. There will be some basic rust and a learning curve to adjusting to the NFL level of play. The way I see it, Rolle has already showed something by playing high level football while excelling at academics. He demonstrated he could handle reality and life while being a top level football player. Rolle started 3 years at a BCS conference school, graduated early so that he would have a graduate degree within 4 years and be ready to play NFL ball immediately after only one year away. In the NFL, he would not have to deal with academics, but and would be able to focus all of his time on playing football.
A lot of hay is being made over a staff member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, rumored to actually be head coach Raheem Morris, who allegedly asked Rolle, during combine interviews, how it felt to “desert his team” in reference to his year away studying at Oxford.
Former Florida State S Myron Rolle, who spent the last year away from his Seminoles teammates while studying at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, is scheduled to meet with the media tomorrow at the NFL scouting combine.
Should be a cakewalk in light of some of the queries he got at the Senior Bowl.
According to Yahoo!, Rolle was asked last month by a member of the Buccaneers coaching staff how it felt to desert his teammates to advance his studies.
“I hadn’t heard that one before,” said Rolle. “My initial reaction was a bit of confusion. It never was anger, but I was more bothered by the question because if anyone knew my involvement with my teammates, how much they care about me and how much I care about them.”
The Bucs staff alleges that Morris asked Rolle “If he felt like he deserted his team” while studying abroad. Neither version changes the fact that in these interviews, the NFL team coaches and staff want to push prospects off of their interview script or rehearsed answers with unconventional questions. Rolle definitely has the maturity to deal with an off beat interview question and he even notes that the interviewer, Raheem Morris, had pulled him aside at the Senior Bowl and told him he was proud of his accomplishments.
“(Bucs coach) Raheem Morris has been my biggest advocate,” said Rolle.
“I don’t feel any animosity toward the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
Most questions about player commitment get answered at the combine. A player that shows up in good shape and deals with interviews well, by demonstrating football knowledge and desire to play, usually helps answer any doubts regarding their commitment to the sport. Rolle should be drafted in the NFL or he will be a definite free agent post draft signing.
At the last practice before the final Rhodes interview, his teammates gathered around him at practice. They didn’t know what exactly he was interviewing for — some texted him good luck on the “Roads” — but they knew it mattered to their brother. So they all put a hand on him and everyone said a prayer. “Someone asked me, ‘Where do you feel more comfortable, in the locker room at FSU or around the Rhodes scholars?'” he says. “Probably my locker room. We didn’t talk about politics or medicine or world health care or world peace. It was just laughing. Here you got to be on your toes. What do you think about Gadhafi’s speech to the UN? What do you think about the legislation that was passed in Indonesia?”
Many retired players talk about how they miss being part of a team when they leave the NFL or college football. It seems Rolle misses his team after his year away from the game and still feels that he belongs on a football field. I would bet his mind is in the right place. He will have an opportunity to prove he is physically in the right place between now and the opening of NFL training camps.
Regardless, he made the right choice in delaying the NFL for Oxford. The real concern is that he doesn’t wreck his body beyond repair playing football and ruin a chance to pursue a career neurosurgery.