For Myron Rolle, The Choices Get Tougher Each Day

When the recruiting process began, Myron Rolle was certain that by the time July got here the decision making process would show signs of getting easier. By narrowing his choices to five, then scheduling trips to the schools on his list during the summer months, he thought that one or two schools might start jumping out at him. Well, instead of getting easier, the decision making process has become more difficult.

(Myron Rolle profile)

"From a logical standpoint, it would only figure that it was going to get easier after making all the visits," said Rolle from his New Jersey home Monday evening. "I thought that making the visits and seeing all the different schools would help me eliminate some of them, but that just hasn't happened yet.

"I made the visits … first to Oklahoma, then Miami, then Michigan and then to Florida and I still have one to go (Florida State on August 5). What's been interesting is that every visit has gotten progressively better and that's made it harder to narrow it down. Every school is coming out hard and giving me the best they have when I visit."

That's the way it should be for the number one high school football prospect in the nation. Rolle is that once in a generation type of player, the ultimate combination of speed, size, athletic ability and brains. He's a running back who has wowed the state of New Jersey the past two years but it's at defensive back where this 6-2, 218-pounder from The Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey knows he has a future. The five schools on his list, plus a sleeper at six in Penn State, all know that this is a difference maker for their defensive backfields so they are indeed giving him the royal treatment.

"That's their job to impress me with what's good about their school," Rolle said. "They should bring their best to the table to make me look at their school thoroughly. They should want me to look at them closely and make a choice that's based on all the things that are right about their place."

Myron is quick to emphasize that he is not the only one that has to be impressed. He has family and some others involved in the decision making process and every bit of information they receive is carefully analyzed by a trusted group. Because he will be making his final decision in August, the school that wins this derby will have undergone tremendous scrutiny.

"Right now I couldn't tell you which school it's going to be," he said, "but when we all get together and put everything together, I know that we'll come out with a school that is the best one for me."

The choice will be made in August because his intention is to enroll in January for spring practice. Rolle is unique in that he's asked each school to present him with a plan to graduate in three years so he can get a head start into medical school. Yes, he wants to play football in the NFL someday, but the long range plan is to be a doctor and any choice that is made has to be made with that in mind.

He said that making the final choice is difficult because every school has its set of positives and negatives. There is no perfect school so he's simply trying to find the one that has more of everything that he considers important to getting him to his ultimate goal.

"This can't be an emotional decision," he said. "If it's emotional, it would be easy to jump at the first one and in the long term, that might prove to be a mistake. For me what's best is to take time away from it and talk to the people who have my best interests at heart. That's our plan and that's what we're trying to execute."

The five finalists (Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, Miami and Florida State) have remained on his list throughout the recruiting process. If there is a newcomer it is Penn State, where he has certain family ties.

"My brother and my sister-in-law went there," he said. "I've been to Penn State a bunch of times so I'm very familiar with them and because it's close to New Jersey, that's something to consider. But, right now, just say that they're one of the schools that I'm interested in."

To get his mind off the recruiting process, he trains extra hard. He lifts three days a week at 6:30 a.m. and at 5 p.m., four afternoons a week he meets his trainer and a few friends to work on speed and agility. The workouts are intense but he says that he's already seeing the results.

"I can see myself improved 10-fold," he said. "I'm bigger and stronger, but I'm still as fast as I was, maybe even a little bit faster. My change of direction is really good. I'm coming in and out of breaks to change direction on a dime."

It is that ability to change directions without losing speed or giving up too much ground to a receiver that he knows will make him the best and being the best is the ultimate goal.

"From high school to college and beyond, the change of direction for a defensive back is the key and it gets more intense at each level. There's a transition phase at each level and it's about how fast you can make the transition. I feel we're getting a lot faster and I believe I've become a lot more explosive this summer."

Rolle will get a chance to see how well he's done next week when his Hun School team will play its first game in a seven-on-seven league.

"We have the first seven-on-seven game for my high school team next week and I'm anxious to see how all the training has gotten me ready," he said. "I'm really ready to put all the things I've learned and trained to do to work for me. I feel that I've got a lot to prove and that I have to be ready to improve myself a lot. It's not just for my football team that I'm doing this but ultimately, it's training to go after those guys at the next level, too, because when I get to school in the spring, there is going to be a big difference in the levels of ability and the speed and strength of the players who will be my teammates. This is my first chance to see where I am and what I need to work on, so yes, I'm really eager to get on the field and see some results."

So, until his August decision is made, Myron Rolle will be a busy young man. He knows that in the end, one school will win out and there will be at least four or five others very disappointed but the choice he makes will be the one that fits in best with his long range plans.

"It's not just about right now or even the next four years," he said. "The choice I make is about the future long after there is no more football."

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