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Don't FORGET about MYRON ROLLE (great NYT article)

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  • Don't FORGET about MYRON ROLLE (great NYT article)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/sp...r=1&ref=sports

    On the Way to the N.F.L. Draft, a Year of Fulfillment in England

    OXFORD, England — Instead of chasing after wide receivers in the N.F.L., Myron Rolle came here to chase ghosts around the ancient campus of the University of Oxford.

    Rolle, 22, established himself as an elite student and athlete at Florida State, becoming a Rhodes scholar and a top N.F.L. prospect. But he temporarily said no to millions of dollars and risked his N.F.L. draft standing to study here. He is perhaps the most prominent athlete to accept a Rhodes scholarship since Bill Bradley in 1965.

    “I feel a little disappointed when I see guys playing on Sundays, especially guys I’m friends with,” said Rolle, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound safety. “But when I walk out of my accommodations in Norham Gardens and spend time with my friends and go to class, I realize that I did make a good choice. It’s been worth it.”

    Rolle walks the same streets that the future president Bill Clinton did when he was a Rhodes scholar. Rolle trains on the same grounds where Roger Bannister, an Oxford graduate, ran the first sub-four-minute mile in 1954. And as Rolle prepares for a life as a doctor and philanthropist after football, he aims to take a similar path as his role model, Bradley, the former N.B.A. player and United States senator.

    Rolle plans to carve his own legacy after Oxford by attending medical school and becoming a neurosurgeon. He has started a foundation that is building a medical clinic and recreation center on a remote island in the Bahamas.

    Although he misses football, Rolle has forged friendships that cross cultures and continents. He takes stimulating classes in which discussions and engaging classmates matter more than papers and tests.

    “I think it’s a great message for all of us,” N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell said of Rolle’s decision to attend Oxford. “Even the greatest players don’t play forever. And they’re going to have to think about other careers, and he’s obviously thought about that at a young age.”

    Football remains a part of Rolle’s future. He rises at 6:30 a.m. every day for two-hour workouts to prepare for this spring’s N.F.L. draft. Bradley, by contrast, ate five meals a day, did not exercise and gained 30 pounds in the two years he studied abroad, he said in a recent phone interview. Bradley jokingly encouraged Rolle not to follow his lead.

    Bradley said he was proud that Rolle had set the groundwork for a life after sports. Rolle and his foundation have made strides toward raising the $5 million it will cost to open the clinic in the Bahamas. Rolle’s decision to study for a master’s degree in medical anthropology here will help him build an education foundation for his medicinal and philanthropic career.

    “It shows real character on his part that he’s giving up the chance to sign a big N.F.L. contract and going to Oxford,” Bradley said. “The experience he’ll have will last a lifetime, while the context of his experience in pro football compared to college football will not be as different as his experience in Oxford will be from the non-football life he’s led.”

    Rolle has been here three weeks — long enough that reality has overtaken expectation. He said he had no regrets. He said that nothing had better epitomized and reinforced his Rhodes experience than his unexpected friendship with Aisha Saad.

    Saad, a Rhodes scholar from the University of North Carolina who is studying environmental policy, is a native of Egypt and a practicing Muslim who wears a hijab. She and Rolle agree that social constructs of undergraduate life would probably have precluded them from becoming friends in college. But on the seven-hour flight to London from Washington, linked by the serendipity of alphabetical order, Rolle and Saad talked nonstop about everything from global warming to gender equity, race, politics and family. (Saad has three younger brothers and Rolle four older brothers.) Some conversations were in English, others Spanish. There was little talk of football.

    “I think other people were just as surprised as we were that we got along so well,” Saad said.

    The two even played pranks on their fellow Rhodes scholars, making them dance to pass an imaginary toll booth, complete with beeping sound effects, in order to get to the bathroom.

    “We got little jigs, shoulder bops and hip wiggles,” Rolle said, laughing.

    Worried that Rhodes scholars would be stuffy, Rolle knew by the time he landed in London that he would fit in. Neither he nor Saad drinks alcohol, so they have avoided the popular pub scene, opting instead for four-hour debates.

    “You definitely see his competitive side come out,” Saad said of Rolle. “Some conversations, we say, ‘We’re going to table this and continue it next week.’ ”

    Rolle said he has enjoyed the classroom and campus experiences as well. His home college at Oxford, where he eats, socializes and gathers his mail, is St. Edmund, also known as Teddy Hall. Typical of Oxford, the building is estimated to have been built in 1278. A chalk sign that hung in the courtyard there Tuesday advertised a hall rugby match.

    Rolle has also picked up the local patois. “Once I put that flame on the hob, not the stove, I knew I was officially here,” he said.

    Formal classes meet infrequently, Rolle said. Instead there are discussion groups built around a student’s interests. Rolle said his pre-med studies at Florida State left him thinking that the tenets of biomedicine were black and white. But a lecture last week on the difference between illness and disease convinced him that he needed to be more open-minded.

    “The fact I’m getting this knowledge before med school may make me a better med student, as I’m not so narrow-focused to think my way is the only way,” Rolle said.

    The nicest thing about Oxford, Rolle said, is that it makes him feel as if he is in no hurry. He graduated from high school early and finished his education at Florida State in two and a half years, cutting short his football career by a season. He said the pace of Oxford had allowed him to throw himself into his studies without feeling harried.

    He does not miss the on-campus autograph requests or being photographed with camera phones. He has gone from a standout student and athlete to one of 83 first-year Rhodes scholars who study alongside some of the other top students in the world.

    “The caliber of the current scholars that Myron has the humbling opportunity to be part of is extraordinarily high,” said Don Markwell, the warden of the Rhodes House. “Many of them will go to become prime ministers, presidents, chief justices, senators, congressmen and the global heads of major corporations. How do I know this? This is what Rhodes scholars have done for the past 106 years.”

    Few, though, have the athletic commitment that Rolle feels he must maintain. He works out from 7 to 9 every morning with his older brother and manager McKinley, a predawn routine that begins in a weight room where spare rugby balls are strewn around the floor. On Thursdays, Rolle practices with Oxford’s rugby team, but he has resisted overtures from the coach to play, something that the Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins did when he was a Rhodes scholar.

    “Pete Dawkins is a legend because he beat Cambridge by scoring the winning try,” Rolle said. “I learned real fast that beating Cambridge is very important around here.”

    McKinley Rolle, 25, counts himself among a group of people, which includes some of Rolle’s former teammates at Florida State, who would have preferred that Rolle had gone straight to the N.F.L. and come back to Oxford later in life.

    “But he’s intrinsically happy, and that makes me happy,” McKinley Rolle said. “Myron is fulfilled.”

    He is also focused. Rolle will miss six weeks of the eight-week second term here to work out for and participate in the Senior Bowl and the N.F.L. combine, the top showcases for draft prospects. Rolle is projected to be selected in the top three rounds. Much will depend on his time in the 40-yard dash and N.F.L. teams’ perceptions of how his time away from football has affected his skills and his desire to play.

    “A lot of questions came out about his commitment to football,” McKinley Rolle said. “But this shows he’s serious about playing football. We’re treating the Senior Bowl like the Super Bowl.”

    When Rolle met Bradley last month in New York, Bradley pulled him aside and said that Rolle’s comments in the news media about how Bradley inspired him to become a Rhodes scholar had brought tears to his eyes. That meant a lot to Rolle, who grew up in Galloway, N.J., and attended the Hun School of Princeton. Bradley, of course, starred in basketball at Princeton.

    “To find someone like Myron acknowledge that I had some impact on his life was really a moving moment,” Bradley said.

    One day years from now, Rolle said, he hopes someone can pull him aside and tell him that he has had a similar inspirational impact on his life.

    “If the draft works out, I think it solidifies that my dreams are realized,” Rolle said. “I want a young boy or girl in inner-city Chicago or wherever to see a guy who took a year off, got smarter, got a master’s degree and came back. I want to show that you can have options.”

  • #2
    You know McDaniels loves those smart players.

    But we just drafted 2 safeties. So I think it might be unlikely that we draft Rolle, but stranger things have happened.

    I'd be way happy to grab Rolle in the draft.


    sigpic


    FA Targets: DT Jason Jones, DT Pat Simms, S Reggie Smith, LB Dan Connor



    :cool:

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    • #3
      I could see it happening. With Berry and Mays in this draft Rolle is at best a 2nd rounder, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's available in the 3rd or even later. Could you imagine how set our defense would be with Smith, McBath, Rolle, and probably another young CB in an upcoming draft!
      sigpic
      Made by Houshmazode

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      • #4
        Nice story, but let's not forget that Myron Rolle just did not play that well as a Sr for FSU...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by getlynched47 View Post
          You know McDaniels loves those smart players.

          But we just drafted 2 safeties. So I think it might be unlikely that we draft Rolle, but stranger things have happened.

          I'd be way happy to grab Rolle in the draft.
          But McDaniels prefers players who "Live and Breathe Football" and I don't think this guy does. He might well be a gifted player, but might not have the "Passion" needed to succeed in McDaniels eyes.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MindField View Post
            Nice story, but let's not forget that Myron Rolle just did not play that well as a Sr for FSU...


            lets not forget FSU wasnt that great either and even with so so production as a SR stats wise he still was considered a first rd lock becasue of his insticts, smarts, athletic ability, size-speed combo and straight up ability.....


            guys like mays.....there all athletic ability no smarts.....

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            • #7
              Originally posted by elevation INC View Post
              lets not forget FSU wasnt that great either and even with so so production as a SR stats wise he still was considered a first rd lock becasue of his insticts, smarts, athletic ability, size-speed combo and straight up ability.....


              guys like mays.....there all athletic ability no smarts.....
              Oh, don't doubt Taylor Mays...


              He might only show up once every 4 weeks, he might make the wrong read 3 out
              of every 4 plays, and he might be pretty invisible on the stat line....

              But man, he is big, can run, and can hit... HoF resume'...
              Club Leader: Robert Griffin III > Andrew Luck

              ^^^Get used to it.^^^

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              • #8
                I'm pretty happy with out safeties. And we already have 3 young talented safeties on stand by. Gil Brandt said that Myron Rolle would have to become a LB in the pros, I don't know if that's the case. Also, he might be very smart and be a nice guy but he never put big numbers though I never watched him play to see what he can do. I agree that his intelligence will draw McDaniels' attention, so he might be high on our big board.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by elevation INC View Post
                  lets not forget FSU wasnt that great either and even with so so production as a SR stats wise he still was considered a first rd lock becasue of his insticts, smarts, athletic ability, size-speed combo and straight up ability.....


                  guys like mays.....there all athletic ability no smarts.....
                  I don't understand you.

                  You knock Mays all day long and praise Rolle???


                  ...does not compute.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MindField View Post
                    I don't understand you.

                    You knock Mays all day long and praise Rolle???


                    ...does not compute.

                    mays= inacurate angles to ball carrier, goes for big hit poor efficiency taking down ball carriers, bad tackling fundementals, poor coverage fundementals, poor discipline, poor hip movement in coverage, Athletic freak, wont be a good center fielder FS at all needs lots of help

                    rolle= smart, good instincts, great discipline, great fundementals in coverage and tackling, good tackling efficiency should be a very good SS in the pros, much better replcement than josh barrett or david bruton....

                    and what i dont get is how you knock rolles production when mays is not a great producer either and the only reason the hype for mays is big is becasue of his size weight ratio, put on tape of mays this year and he shouldnt even go in rd 2.....he is worse on tape than william moore and you hated moore last year.....
                    Last edited by elevation INC; 10-28-2009, 05:39 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Roddoliver View Post
                      I'm pretty happy with out safeties. And we already have 3 young talented safeties on stand by. Gil Brandt said that Myron Rolle would have to become a LB in the pros, I don't know if that's the case. Also, he might be very smart and be a nice guy but he never put big numbers though I never watched him play to see what he can do. I agree that his intelligence will draw McDaniels' attention, so he might be high on our big board.

                      i dont expect rolle to get 8 ints every year he will be a box safety type player but a good one at that, and his smarts should allow him to be a very good player in the pros....he has the athletic ability and fundementals as well as instincts to be a good pro


                      im telling your right now rolle will turn a bunch of heads at the Senior bowl....

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by elevation INC View Post
                        mays= inacurate angles to ball carrier, goes for big hit poor efficiency taking down ball carriers, bad tackling fundementals, poor coverage fundementals, poor discipline, poor hip movement in coverage, Athletic freak, wont be a good center fielder FS at all needs lots of help
                        Forgive my ignorance. I dont watch much College Football. If Mays is all what you say he is, then how come he is top prospect?

                        :go:

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bahn View Post
                          Forgive my ignorance. I dont watch much College Football. If Mays is all what you say he is, then how come he is top prospect?

                          :go:
                          Because of his height-weight-speed ratio and the fact that he hits hard(only because that's all he tries to do). Add that in with the fact that he'll put up insane numbers at the combine and there you go, instant first-round pick. Say hello to the next Raider. The good news for us is that it knocks Rolle down the draft.

                          Edit: Also the fact that he played for USC and that he was a starter on one of the greatest defenses in college.
                          Last edited by Bowie Man; 10-28-2009, 07:06 AM.
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                          Made by Houshmazode

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bowie Man View Post
                            Because of his height-weight-speed ratio and the fact that he hits hard(only because that's all he tries to do). Add that in with the fact that he'll put up insane numbers at the combine and there you go, instant first-round pick. Say hello to the next Raider. The good news for us is that it knocks Rolle down the draft.

                            Edit: Also the fact that he played for USC and that he was a starter on one of the greatest defenses in college.
                            you and me see different things obviously

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bahn View Post
                              Forgive my ignorance. I dont watch much College Football. If Mays is all what you say he is, then how come he is top prospect?

                              :go:
                              actually the more he plays this year the more he is getting exposed on tape.....his height weight ratio keeps him high but many many scouts are starting to waver on mays as a legit first rounder based on his playing not his height weight ratio....

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