Myron Rolle: STUDENT-Athlete

Myron Rolle is the definition of the term "Student-Athlete". While the junior from New Jersey has been starting on the field since his freshman season, he has been an all-star in the classroom during those two years as well. He recently discussed several topics with NoleDigest covering everything from the Rhodes Scholarship to how he is working on becoming even more focused on the football field

Although Myron Rolle will only be entering his third year at Florida State, he has already completed his first degree. Over the weekend, Myron Rolle and teammate Christian Ponder walked the stage as both have earned a bachelors degree in just 2 ½ years with magna cum laude at Florida State.

To most spectators on the outside looking in, it may seem that there isn't anything that Myron Rolle can't do. That isn't the case however. While being interviewed at Florida State's annual media day, Rolle decided to come clean admitting that not everything comes to him with such ease.

"Graduation was a great ceremony," the junior safety said, "We (Myron and Christian Ponder) got to sing the national anthem, or lip sing the national anthem. We sang the fist line that we let off. We wanted the crowd to pick it up for us because Christian and I can't really sing."

Myron wasn't the only Rolle to graduate over the weekend. The graduation of him and one of his siblings made for quite the event for the Rolle family.

"My brother also graduated with a Masters in Sports Administration. So I had my original family from New Jersey there and also all of my aunts, uncles and cousins from the Bahamas come up for it. It was a huge affair for us. There were about 30 members of my family there."

For most, graduation and receiving a degree marks the end of academic responsibilities. That won't be the case for Rolle as he now finds himself in search for one of the most prestigious honors any student in America can be awarded.

"The Rhodes Scholar is a dream that I've had for a while now," Rolle said, "right now I'm in the personal statement part of the process. I am writing a 1,000 word statement on why I feel that I am qualified to receive the award. I'm currently on my 11th draft of that and I'm sure there will be a lot more to go. It has to be in by August 26th so I still have a little bit of time left for it."

In addition to having to sell himself to the Rhodes committee, Rolle must be endorsed by his university. That is all but a given at this point. Rolle has also been busy seeking letters of recommendation to submit with his personal statement.

"I have all the letters of recommendation that I need from my instructors. I have a few more. I have one from Dave Hart, a former A.D. here, Coach Bowden wrote me one as well. It's a process that is long, but it will be worth while in the end if it all works out."

If Rolle were to be honored by receiving the scholarship, he would be given to opportunity to attend The University of Oxford. The only problem with that, if you even want to call it a problem, is that Rolle is a projected first round pick by most in the 2009 NFL Draft. Trying to decide between attending Oxford of taking millions of dollars to play in the NFL is a decision most would love to have, but it won't be an easy one if that specific opportunity eventually does present itself.

"That's the million dollar question. I would love to play in the NFL," Rolle said "That's also been a dream of mine for a while. But at the same time, being a Rhodes Scholar is a distinction that not too many people have. It's an Academic goal that is right there for me. If the opportunity presents itself of deciding between the Rhodes Scholar and going to study at Oxford or going to play in the NFL, I won't know what I plan on doing until then."

"Hopefully the game would be at night, and my interview would be in the mourning so I could go to the interview and then catch a plane over to Maryland for the game. The Rhodes Scholar committee sends people in to interview from all over the place for that specific day, so it's not really practical to just say, lets move the interview to Sunday."

Trying to balance a full course load and being a leader for Florida State's defense can be tough on anyone. Luckily, Rolle has had plenty of support and says he leans on Coach Bowden for a lot if it.

"Coach Bowden has been very helpful as far as me reaching my academic goals so far. I've missed a few practices and meetings for labs and tutorial sessions and tests that I've had to make up. He has been very lenient with me helping me to be the best student here at Florida State that I can be. And that's exactly what he told me he would do when I came here on my recruiting trip. That right there tells you that the man is very genuine and he stays true to his word, I appreciate him for that."

While Rolle has been very successful in pursuing his academic dreams, he knows that he is attending Florida State on a football scholarship and says he had been working harder than every to prepare for the coming season.

"I've been focusing a lot more over this summer. I've been watching more film than I ever have and I've tried my best to be extremely critical of myself. I feel that I'll be able to prepare more for each game and be more focused this season. I want to be as focused with my football as I am with my studies. The balancing act really isn't that difficult so I know I will be able to do it."

NoleDigest will continue to track Myron throughout the season. Look for updates on his success on the field as well as his pursuit of the Rhodes Scholarship.

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