Rolle Shines in First FSU Scrimmage

For the first time since starting spring training Monday, March 13, the Florida State football team practiced in full pads Thursday. The nearly three-hour session was capped off by the first of several scrimmages scheduled throughout the next month. Despite the obvious rustiness of the Seminoles, several players gave a glimpse into what the future holds for the program --- namely true freshman Myron Rolle.

Playing for the first time inside Doak S. Campbell Stadium as a member of the FSU football team, the talented safety finished the day with stats that seem as though they belong to a veteran.

Tackle for loss on a trick play. Interception deep in scoring position. Fumble recovery on the goal line.

Sure tackler: check. Sound in coverage skills: check. Knack for locating the football: check. All in a day's work for the 6-foot-3 standout from New Jersey.

"It was great. Now we are actually playing so it's like a game situation," Rolle said after the 26-period practice. "This was the first time I ever played in this stadium so it was a little scary with the seats and everything and the magnitude of it but I had a good time and made a couple of plays.

"I am happy with my performance today."

His first big play of the game came by way of a little instinct.

After a fake a handoff from the quarterback to tailback Jamaal Edwards that led to a reverse to wide receiver Robert Hallback on a trick play, Rolle was there with an answer for the defense.

"I sort of sensed it because I think Greg (Carr) did it a little earlier in the scrimmage and I saw him coming and I just played football then," Rolle said. "I just sort of forgot about my responsibilities and went and got the ball carrier for a tackle for loss."

The second play of the day --- and, perhaps the scrimmage's most talked about occurrence --- came against walk-on signal caller Jared Whipkey. Playing in coverage, Rolle once again read the play and then made a play --- intercepting a ball intended for rising redshirt sophomore Kenny O'Neal.

"We were in cover-five so I had a deep half and Trevor Ford did a good job of keeping Kenny O'Neal sort of inside so when he broke for the corner I just played over top of him and made the play," Rolle said. "I read the quarterback's shoulders and broke on the ball and made the play."

With the first week of the spring practice period in the books, the one defining trait that coaches have been looking for is improvement. As with every early new season, individual play is hard to judge and gauging improvement of each player helps set the tone for the fall.

With the first week of his career in college football in the books, Rolle's play, and talk, speaks for itself.

"I think I have progressed a whole lot. Coach asked us just now, 'Who got 80 percent better from day one?' I have stepped up," he said. "The first day I didn't know any plays and now I am making a play on the football and causing a turnover so just that fact that I was in position to make an interception and make a tackle for loss and get a fumble recovery; I think that helped me a lot."

Added head coach Bobby Bowden: "He is big and intelligent and he'll hit you. He's got what we are looking for."

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