INDIANAPOLIS – Wow.
That one-word description seems woefully inadequate to describe Myron Rolle – the former Florida State safety who passed on entering the draft last year to become a Rhodes Scholar, and now is putting his studies to become a neurosurgeon on hold to give the NFL a shot.
But after his podium appearance at the NFL scouting combine on Sunday, that was the word heard over and over as he left the room: Wow.
Calling Rolle articulate definitely does not do him justice. Intelligent? Same level of inadequacy.
But Rolle is committed to convincing coaches and general managers here that he is serious about pursuing a career in football, and won’t bolt for medical school after a couple of seasons or the first time things don’t go his way.
“I want it as much as anybody who is out here right now,” he said. “I’m here to prove that by the way I can perform during the drills – running the 40-yard dash, doing the bench press and everything – competing, challenging myself and really testing my mettle in front of all 32 NFL teams.
“This is very important time for me at this stage in my life, and I’m looking forward to stepping up to the challenge.”
So, which drew the more shocked response? The one from his football friends when they learned he was going to Oxford rather than the NFL? Or the one from his Oxford mates when they learned he was going to the Senior Bowl last month and now the combine?
“I would say the people at Oxford, and the Rhodes scholarship people connected with that school,” he said. “Obviously American football is not a very revered sport there.”
That was driven home when Rolle attended the America Bowl game at Wimbley Stadium last year against the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“They were cheering and clapping for punts,” he said.
Then there was the reaction of his roommate and classmates when he was getting up at six every morning to work out and told them he was leaving to attend the Senior Bowl and combine.
“I tried to explain to them the importance of it and why I had to go through these particular events,” he said. “It still didn’t make too much sense to them. I decided to switch the topic on some United Nations topic or world hunger.”