Michigan 'Rolles' Out the Red Carpet

Ann Arbor was the third stop on defensive back <b>Myron Rolle's</b> spring visit tour. The No. 1 defensive back in the country, according to Jim S., said the visit increased his already high opinion of Michigan. GoBlueWolverine.com spoke Monday with Rolle to get the details of the trip. <br>

Michigan is one of those rare colleges where the name alone is often enough to elicit awe and admiration, many times from those who have never set foot on the campus. The academic reputation of Michigan, coupled with the rich tradition of the Wolverine football program, are often all that is needed to get Michigan to the top of a player's list of preferred colleges. However, regardless of the reputation of the institution, nothing appears to solidify the feel for the Michigan experience for a recruit more than setting foot on the campus. Such was the case for defensive back Myron Rolle of The Hun School in Princeton, N.J.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Rolle, considered by many to be the top prospect in the recruiting class of 2006 and ranked the No. 1 by defensive back by Jim S., paid a visit with his parents and older brother to Ann Arbor over the weekend. While he had been to Michigan before while attending summer camps, this was the first time he had been able to really visit the campus. "It was an incredible experience; Michigan really rolled out the red carpet during the trip," he told GoBlueWolverine. "We drove about 10 hours on Thursday night to get there Friday morning. We checked into the hotel about 6 a.m."

After a few hours sleep the group headed off to campus. "Around 10:00 Friday morning we met Sheri Acho in the academic area," Rolle said. "She was great and very informative about everything. Then we met with Coach Carr and he said right off the bat that I shouldn't come to Michigan if I didn't expect to start right away. It was a great visit because we got to know him better. The last time I was at Michigan we had just met, so we had to get to know each other a little better. This visit it was more like friends meeting."

After meeting with the Michigan head coach, the Rolles headed off to spend some time in the Life Sciences Building before spending several hours at the Medical Center and Hospital. "I spoke with one of the residents there, Chris Fox," Rolle said. "He's a neurologist, which is the same thing I want to do, and he played hockey for Michigan from 1994-98. He told me I could still have a personal life along with school and athletics. He said he still goes to U-M football games. He was a wonderful guy and very bright."

Then the family was off to meet with former Michigan head football coach Bo Schembechler. "I didn't know he was such a legend," Rolle said. "When we checked into the hotel there was a 'Schembechler Suite' and his name is all over. He is a great guy and told us a lot of jokes. He looked at the schools on my final list and said Michigan is a better academic school then the others. Since he knew academics is important to me he said I could go to a place like Stanford or Virginia, but Michigan has a better football program than those schools, so the best place for me is Michigan."

The day was not yet over for the talented defensive star. As a matter of fact, the staff saved the best for last on this Friday. "The last thing was my favorite part," he said. "They took us all into the film room. They showed us videos clips of Ty Law during his freshman year, then Ty Law during his final year. Then they showed clips of Charles Woodson during his freshman year, and Charles Woodson during his final year. Then they did the same for Marlin Jackson. Then they said, 'Myron Rolle, you could be the next great cornerback at the University of Michigan.' I really liked that, and it gives me something to think about."

Saturday began where Friday left off, at Schembechler Hall. "I was able to sit in on the defensive team meeting," Rolle said. "I had no idea what they were talking about; they were going over schemes and things like that. It was great to meeting the guys, then we headed to the stadium for the practice."

Myron Rolle is a popular fellow around Princeton, N.J.; however, he wasn't expecting to be noticed in far off Ann Arbor. "I was amazed that people knew who I was," he said. "About 40 people asked me for my autograph -- it was great. One person asked me to sign one of your magazines and I saw that I was on the cover. We didn't even know that; it was very nice."

After the game Rolle said he spent some more time with Carr, and concluded his visit with some tips from Michigan defensive backs coach Ron English. "Coach English is a great guy; I really like him a lot and he is now my main recruiter since Coach Sheridan left," Rolle said. "After the practice he talked about how he was going to teach me. He prepared a 45-minute video of different drills. After that we got in the car and drove the 10-hours back home."

Rolle said they packed so much into this visit because it is doubtful he will take any official visits. "I'd like to decide towards the end of the summer," he said. "After I take my final visits in May I'll sit down with my family and we'll go over all the information about each school. If I can't make a decision than I'll wait until December. In any case I don't think I'll be taking any official visits as all the games at The Hun School are on Saturdays." Rounding out his top five schools are Florida and Florida State, the two schools he said he would visit in May, though dates are not set. Rolle will graduate in December and enroll at the school of his choice in January.

After glowing comments following his visits to Miami and Oklahoma, Rolle said his Michigan visit was very, very impressive. "In my mind Michigan moved up," he said. "It was a very thorough visit, very in-depth. It was the first time I was able to see the school and the campus. My parents were also impressed, they liked Coach English a lot and think Michigan is a fit for me."

At 6-2, 210, there has been speculation Rolle may end up being too big for the cornerback position. "Michigan is recruiting me as a corner all the way," he said. "After seeing those videos of all the great cornerbacks that have played at Michigan I know I could be part of that if I do choose them."

After the long trip, and excitement of the visit, Rolle went out on Monday and set a new record. "We had a track meet today (Monday)," he said. "I set a new school record in the 200 meters of 22.6 seconds."

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