Myron Rolle: "I do need football"

After a year studying abroad at Oxford University, the most common question for Florida State safety Myron Rolle is pretty simple.

How important is football in your life?

It’s not just a question for Rolle. It’s a question every team at some point asks every player. If football is the No. 1 response from a player, the team is happy. If football is the No. 3 response from a player, that’s fine if the only two things ahead of it are faith and family or family and faith.

One defensive coordinator told a story about meeting a player at the combine a few years ago. He was a philosophy major and the coach poised the question to the player.

“Football is up there,” the player said.

The coach turned in his report and wrote, “Do not draft.”

Rolle has been peppered with the question at the combine.

“That’s been a popular question that I’ve received here. My answer to them, which is a genuine and truthful answer, is that I think my pursuits academically have helped me in football,” he said. “You learn discipline, you learn time management, you learn structure, you learn organization and as a football player those are obviously valuable assets and traits you can use to be great whether in film studies or on the field. I tell them I want to transform all of the positive traits I’ve learned in the classroom by the pinnacle of academic achievement, the Rhodes Scholarship, become an even better football player by it.”

But how important is football?

“I do need football. Football has been a part of my life since I’ve been 6 years old,” Rolle said. “I really do enjoy the sport. I missed it while I was over in England. I’m excited to be back here I had a great chance to show my ability at the Senior Bowl. This combine is the next step in the evaluation process that I’ve very excited about it as well.

“I do want (football), I want it as much as anybody who’s out here right now. I’m here to prove that by the way I can perform during the drills, running the 40-yard-dash, the bench press and doing everything. Competing, challenging myself and testing my mettle in front of all 32 NFL teams. This is a very important time for me in this stage of my life and I’m looking forward to stepping up to the challenge.”

Later, Rolle was asked how long it will take him to achieve his goal of becoming a neurosurgeon, a pursuit that is on hold while he embarks on his football career.

“Somewhere upwards, around 12 or 13 years until I’m able to practice fully,” he said. “That doesn’t bother me. Hopefully, I’m still considered a young man at that point.”

Listen, Rolle is a terrific story and the game and society would be better with more young men as bright, driven and enthusiastic as him. But let’s do the math. After a 10-year career and another 12 or 13 years of school, well, he’s not going to be considered a young man. Now, if he has a three-year career, sure, he’ll probably be a young man with that timetable in the field of neurosurgeons.

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