Beloved & Awesome CP Celebrity
Join Date: Aug 2000
Casino cash: $5215
Have to admit... kind of impressive
Although I think he's somewhat overrated as a player, this story makes it a little more difficult to dislike the safety from FSeww.
With Rhodes scholarship, medical degree in sights, Seminoles' Rolle isn't all ball
ORLANDO - By David Whitley
Myron Rolle is used to getting questions about his sport, his priorities and his future. After all those, he was happy to get this one from a little girl.
"What's a pancreas?" she asked.
"Don't worry," Rolle said. "You'll learn all that by the end of the week."
Florida State's resident football genius was in Orlando last week teaching kids from a Seminole reservation how to live healthier lives. The top safety designed the program in between his pre-med classes, football studies and trying to cure cancer.
Rolle got a $4,000 research grant to study mesenchymal stem cells. They have similar characteristics to cancer cells.
Rolle, speaking at the annual youth conference of Seminoles from the Brighton Reservation, revealed his wide interests, talking about tumor suppression, Paul Robeson, the World Health Organization and diabetes among Native Americans.
He has a 3.75 GPA and is set to graduate next week with a pre-med degree. It has taken him 2 1/2 years to get it, even with that little side pursuit on Saturdays.
Next up is a master's in public administration. It will come in handy for the clinic he plans to build in his parents' native Bahamas. That will come after he achieves his hopes of a Rhodes scholarship, NFL career and medical degree.
Which gets back to the ACC's most whispered question.
Is Rolle too special for his own football good?
"Oh, I've heard it before I even got to college," he said.
What if he didn't have to spend so much time chasing a career in neurosurgery? It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know how there's more money and fame being an NFL All-Pro safety.
"What if I just took remedial classes and focused on football and played video games in my spare time? How would that be?" he said. "Or what if I had a regular student's schedule and got to see my teachers in office hours and went to the library. How much better of a student would I be?"
Rolle stepped onto campus as one of the nation's top recruits and was the ACC's newcomer of the year in 2006. But he didn't make a Tim Tebow-like jump to sophomore superstardom. Was the academic load dragging him down?
"A lot of people expect a lot from me," he said. "They expect Deion Sanders."
Rolle's idea of Prime Time is spending a week with fifth-graders. It wasn't for a class or credit. He saw a need and spent a month designing a program that would make students aware of diabetes and obesity.
"You've got to get them early, when they're impressionable," he said.
Students will return to their classmates this fall and split into teams. The team that best meets the health goals will be introduced at the FSU-Virginia Tech game. The first order of business was picking names.
"We want to be the Gator Haters," one girl said.
"I like that one," Rolle laughed.
By the Tech game in late October, Rolle hopes nobody is still questioning his desire to beat the Gators or anyone else. He knows he didn't come up with the big plays people expected last year, but he was actually bigger and stronger and faster than ever.
"I don't think I got worse as a player," he said. "But if you don't make the interceptions and get the tackles and sacks, you sort of get relegated to being thought of as an average player."
A lot of NFL scouts would disagree, as Rolle is projected as a first-round pick. His plan was always to play three seasons, turn pro, make some money, go to med school and become a neurosurgeon.
There is one potential complication. FSU is expected to nominate Rolle for a Rhodes scholarship. It's almost impossible to be a full-time NFL player and full-time student in Oxford, England.
If it comes to that, Rolle figures the NFL can wait a bit.
"Sports is a good avenue to meet people," Rolle said. "And a good opportunity to open doors and come down here and have fifth-graders listen to you and a good way to earn some money and play the sport you love.
"But," he added, "it is not everything."
The irony is that one of sports' biggest tenets is to try your best in everything you do. Rolle just happens to be able to do more than one thing.
"He does football, and everything," said 9-year-old Rumor Juarez.
She was the kid who had the question about the pancreas. Thanks to Rolle, she'll learn.
"The Bible teaches you to use your talents and maximize your ability and all the blessings you've been given," Rolle said. "Don't hide them. Don't bury them. Use them to go out and help others."