Coming out of high school, Myron Rolle was one of the most highly regarded and decorated prospects in the 2006 recruiting class. The talented safety was ranked as the #1 safety on Scout.com, while other services like ESPN had him as the #1 overall players for his class. Coming into what may possibly be his last year at Florida State, Myron is looking forward to this spring in hopes that the team can get back to the Seminoles of old and that he can become the player he, and fans, think he can be.
With spring football about a week old, the team has been working on getting better in every facet of the game. While the defense is still young in some spots, they have played well so far. For Myron, he feels like his first week went pretty smooth, but he wants to make sure he, and the defense as a unit, continues to get better every day.
"Spring is going well. I'm trying to add aspects to my game to make myself the player I can be and to take myself to the next level. As a team we have a lot more enthusiasm on the field, especially the defense. We like each other off the field, and it shows on the field. We are playing together. We are still young and it's still early, and we have only played 3 defenses so far, but we've been able to gel. The offense has played well too. I think the coaches are happy where we are at right now."
One topic among fans that has been hotly contested has been how the coaches have used Myron in their defense, and how he has played since he arrived at Florida State in 2006. Since his freshman season Rolle has constantly been a team leader in tackles and solid play, but the thing he wants to work on is being a better playmaker.
"We have some different sets where I may play free safety, or when I come up and jam and play press man on my guy. Its great and I did that in high school. I am very very good at it and I am very comfortable with it. It's going to showcase my talents a little bit, and that's why I came to FSU. I want to play at a high level and play the way I played my whole life and I think I have the opportunity to do that now."
Another part of the game that Myron may get involved in is in the blitz packages. He says that while they haven't worked on them yet, it is something he and Mickey Andrews have discussed.
"We haven't put it in, but hopefully it happens. I want to do it. I want to come up and get involved behind the line of scrimmage. I see safeties from all over blitz and make those plays behind the line, and that's something I want to do. I think I can help the team a lot in that area. It's a system; this is the way the program has been for a while. I feel the program has helped me be a better student, a better player, a better person and a better Christian. I feel that I have the ability to help this university in the classroom and community, and I have been able to do some of that. On the field I feel there is still more I can do to help the team with the talents I have. Not being arrogant, but I know what kind of player I am and what I bring to the table. Hopefully this year I get to show my talents."
Other than adding some different schemes that he'll play a role in the fall, Myron has some personal goals that he hopes to achieve this spring. For him, these goals will aloe him to be the better overall playmaker he wants to be.
"I want to lead the team in interceptions this spring. In every practice or scrimmage I want to have a big play. While I continue to do my job and my responsibilities, I want to have a big hit, an interception, a fumble recovery, or a good pass breakups. Every day I want to make something happen. I feel that's where it starts, in practice and then scrimmages and then carry them into the games this fall."
It is no secret that this may possibly be Myron's last year at Florida State. While the decision has not been made and the possibility of him coming back for his senior season is still an option, Myron wants to use this spring to build on his potential as an NFL player. He talks about that a little bit.
"Adding to my versatility is what I have been trying to do, when I have heard from NFL coaches and personnel, when I've heard things and what they've said is that I am a versatile player and that I can do a lot on the field. By being more involved in these different packages, it will add to the feeling that NFL personnel and coaches have on me. I've always gotten positive feedback from them, but they want me to be a bigger playmaker, and make more plays. I'm starting that this spring and putting that in my head. I'm not going to press or not force it. If its not there its not there, but I have the mind set that I am a player that can change the game, and that's what I want to do."
One aspect that may not only help Myron, but the defense overall, is the move Jamie Robinson made from cornerback to free safety. It's vital for the team that Jamie has a smooth transition to his new position, and according to Myron it has been good so far.
"Jamie is a great player and a great cover man. He covers like a corner, so it'll be like having 3 corners on the field at once. He has adapted well and he's still learning. He has to get the verbiage right. He knows what to do, and he'll go to the right spot, but he will be saying the wrong thing when he's going there (laughs). But, he is doing well and picking it up fast."
Florida State is notorious for fast and aggressive defenses. Over the past few seasons the defense hasn't been what they could be. Myron says that he is noticing a movement towards the defenses of old, and that the team is beginning to tie up the loose ends.
"I think the defense will be a strong unit in the fall. Florida State always has had good defenses, so I don't want to say we are going to be the best we've had here, but there is going to be lot of improvement from the last 2 years. We've been working on pursuit and getting to the football. That's across the board. Everyone needs to get to the football. That's how turnovers are caused; you know putting a hat on the ball, stripping it or whatever. That's something we can work on and once we do I think we will be very very strong."
When Terrell Buckley came to Florida State, many fans were excited about the potential of the defensive backs as a unit. While he isn't the defensive backs coach, he has worked a lot with the young players over the past 2 seasons. The chance to work with Buckley is something that Myron has enjoyed, and he feels he's learned a ton from him.
"He's been helping me out a lot, as well as the other defensive backs. He brings a wealth of knowledge, but what I like is he lets you play your style. He had a way to play corner and a way to play defensive back; he will always ask me if I feel comfortable doing this or that, and to tell me to do what's comfortable for me. But he stresses knowing how to read and how to do it right. He implements his knowledge and at the same time letting you keep your style of play. He doesn't change you but makes you overall a better player."
Myron is very excited about this upcoming season, and thinks that the team will find more success than the past few seasons. He has personal and team goals that he wants to see and he feels that are very realistic. For Myron, he sees a BCS run for the Seminoles in the fall.
"I definitely want to continue to work hard and play my responsibilities, but I want to get my hands on more footballs. I only have one INT in my career, and that frustrates me. I want to get more tackles, play behind the line, and maybe even get a touchdown or 2. I set my goals high, for the simple reason I want to achieve them, and if I don't I'm still pretty close and I feel good. As a team, I think we think we can win the ACC and get to a BCS game and make some noise. We have a favorable schedule, a lot of games at home and good solid guys that are coming back. We have guys who have been under the new staff for a year. I'm very excited for the fall."
He says a talk with a former Seminole great and fan favorite makes him feel like the team is primed to make it back among the elite.
"I think this year will be good for our program coming off the two 7-6 seasons, I think its time for change. I was talking to Greg Jones the other day, and he was telling me that the talent was still there, but we have to get it together. I think it can happen, I'm a positive person and I always think optimistically, so I think it can happen."
If Myron has the year he is looking to have, it is a very real possibility that the Noles can win the ACC and make it back to a BCS game. Look for part 2 of our in-depth interview with Myron as we look at what he's been doing off the field.