Concentrating on his academics following his sports seasons, Rollison finally got the news he's been wanting to hear on Tuesday and says he's ready to begin his new life as an Auburn Tiger. The NCAA Clearinghouse sent Auburn the official word that the U.S. Army All-American was cleared to begin his new life as a college football player.
"Once I got past all my sports I didn't have anything else on my mind," the quarterback tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I was doing good even during my sports, but I figured since I was doing good I might as well keep going.
He notes that during the spring of his senior year he knew he was in good shape to be an academic qualifier."It's just a big opportunity for me," he says of the chance to compete for playing time this fall.
"Not too many people get to play Division I football," says Rollison, who passed for 4,728 yards and 51 touchdowns as a senior. "There are a lot of people who are excited for me and a lot of people doubted me saying I wasn't going to be able to make it. I just look at those people who were doubting me, and that's motivating me to go out there and get it."
Rollison played in the U.S. Army All-American Game this year.
Needing a few points on his ACT in order to qualify, Rollison says he knew once he got his scores this year that all he needed to do was to take care of business in the classroom and his dream of playing college football could become a reality.
"I really knew when I got all my stuff back from when I took the (ACT) test," he notes. "I knew I needed a 68 composite score and I had a 68 on the dot. They told me from there on out to try and make all A's, but I could probably make a C. I finished up with all A's and B's."
Tyrik Rollison was a two-time first team All-State pick in Texas who led his team to a state championship last fall.
One of the top quarterback prospects in the country, questions about Rollison's academics kept several colleges from offering him when the time came to pull the trigger. One of the schools that didn't fit into that category was Auburn though, something the 6-2, 200 Rollison says he won't soon forget. AU assistant coach Curtis Luper had been recruiting Rollison for Oklahoma State and told the QB that he believed he would be a qualifier if he put in the effort to make it happen.
"It's a big opportunity for me because I know this coaching staff is going to stick with me," Rollison says. "Some of the coaching staffs were looking for me, but they wouldn't give me an offer. One of the schools I was looking at wouldn't give me an offer, but my recruiting coach left and went to Auburn. I started looking at them and they became my choice."
Now Rollison is getting ready to start classes on Monday and begin working out with his teammates to prepare for the 2009 season. He arrived in Auburn this week to begin freshman orientation. He says that right now he's just focusing on getting stronger and staying sharp so he can make a run at playing for the Tigers in the fall.
"They sent me a workout plan so I have been doing that," Rollison notes. "My old high school coach got me and a bunch of the seniors to play 7-on-7 games against the upcoming seniors to get them ready for some tournaments they have. It helps me stay sharp.
"I look at this season as wide open," he adds. "I'm starting with a clean slate so it's wide open. I just plan on going out there and get it. Coach Malzahn (Auburn QB coach and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn) just told me to come in with the right attitude and to practice hard and we would go from there."