|This story originally published on OUInsider.com|
The nation's top football prospect, Myron Rolle, is still working toward
making his decision at the end of August, or sometime around that time frame.
He has one more unofficial visit to take to Florida State in early August before
making his decision. It appears that the same five schools are still in the
race for his services: OU, Florida, Michigan, Penn State and Florida State.
As we have talked about several different times, Myron's decision will be his, but his family will have a great influence on that decision. Most of the family has traveled with Myron on each trip, and his brother McKinley plans to move and go to graduate school wherever Myron decides to go to school.
Recently on The Sports Animal, Myron and his father Whitney Rolle talked with Bob Barry Jr. and myself about their amazing recruiting adventure.
BBJ: Whitney, we are intrigued about your son and how articulate he his, the atmosphere around your family, and how you guys are making this an entire family decision. I happen to admire that and it sounds like you guys are spending a lot of money towards this decision. In a recent article in the ESPN Magazine, they stated that you as a family had spent $21,000 dollars thus far. Is that correct?
WR: "It has been a decision to get the entire family involved. The $21,000 is not just in one year, but that is an accumulation over two years. Most of the funds were spent this year. One of the things that we wanted to accomplish was to give Myron the best opportunity to make the best decision. We wanted to expose him as much as we can to the various universities and aspects of the university. We are not talking just the football, but the academics and the entire atmosphere of the university. A lot of times you can look on a virtual tour, or read a book and then you go and you press the flesh so to speak, you have a different approach and a different appreciation of the university. That is one of the things that we wanted to accomplish."
JH: Myron, with one more visit to go has everything worked out as planed, especially concerning the game plan that you and your family has put together to ensure you can make the best decision possible for you?
MR: "Yes, sir. I think it has. Like my father says, we have gathered a lot of information and we have done this together as a family. We basically sat down early in this process and developed a plan, and we want to execute it because we knew what the future held. With me graduating early, I knew I had to get this process rolling sooner than a lot of the other prospects in the country. I think that the visits went great and we benefited a lot from it as a family. Me, personally, I learned a lot from this whole process and I think it has gone exceptionally well."
BBJ: When you talk about your involvement is this still ultimately Myron's decision where he goes, but as a father would you tell him that you didn't like a school even if Myron clearly like that school?
WR: "(Laughs...) Not completely. Basically, one of the things we have done is that we think as parents we have given Myron the tools to make the right decision. What we wanted to do is give him the exposure to the various aspects of the universities. I will give you a typical example of what happens after one of these trips. I think the more interesting one was after the Oklahoma trip because when we all got back home we all sat around the table to discuss the visit. We have developed as a group four or five pages of various categories of information that we wanted to address. Each person had an opportunity to speak about the head coach, the position coach, the defensive coordinator, the depth chart and the school as it relates to proximity to home. Can you get there by air easily or can you get there by car? We talked about the Academic All-Americans that the school produced, the All-Americans, the championships and the exposure on TV. Also, how many players have gone on to the NFL and we talked about the academics suited to what Myron wants to do?
"So, there were very many areas that we discussed and each person offered their opinion. I think what really happened in those kind of situations is that a decision eventually floats to the top. I don't think you have to force it or dictate it, as the decision will eventually come. We all are moving form one agenda, and that is basically what is best for Myron Rolle. Whether we have difference of opinions or not, that is the ultimate goal."
JH: Myron has been articulate explaining his position and he has always given us his opinion at that time on the five schools. From a parental point of view, give us your thoughts on the visits thus far and what has struck you about each school?
WR: "(Laughs...) Let me start from the beginning, because Oklahoma was the first visit and I think it has been documented that is a place that is dear to all of our hearts, especially to Myron. When we went to Oklahoma we were a little bit surprised at the level that they had gone to in terms of the various things that went on there. The Academic Advisor, meeting with President (David) Boren and the various things and opportunities that he talked about that were available to Myron. Obviously, when you look at Oklahoma you look at the program and the tradition. One of the things is that I am kind of a semi-fan of Oklahoma, I have followed them from the Selmon brother's time to Billy Sims, and I have always admired Oklahoma football. That was one of the reasons why Myron went to their camp before his sophomore year. We wanted to test him against the very best competition. Oklahoma, as Myron had indicated earlier, had set the standards, but what we got from that visit was that we had a group of people that were concerned, caring and genuine people. I think Oklahoma is a program that Myron can flourish in.
"Then we went down to Miami. I don't know if you know, but I got my MBA from the University of Miami, so most people tend to think that I am slanted towards Miami. However, like I said before, I am interested in the best thing for Myron, whether it is Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida State, Florida or Penn State. Whichever school is going to be best for him is who we are going to go with, but Miami offers a different picture than Oklahoma. Miami features a lot of guys that went to the NFL. Academically, Miami is a very strong school and it is an environment that I am very familiar with because I have been to Miami so many times. I am very familiar to that environment. It is not so much a college town, but it is different.
"Then we go to Michigan, which is a college town, but steep in tradition. One of the amazing things of Michigan was the depth of research centers and opportunities that were available to Myron. We look at the academics, the medical facilities, the medial programs, and of course the football. I think with all of the schools that Myron is considering, you can't make a bad decision. I think they are all very good schools.
"Then, of course, we went down to Florida. It was the first time that I had been to Gainesville and I think the enthusiasm that Coach (Urban) Meyer presents is very interesting. I think they are trying to build something exciting there. They have a very good blend of the academics as well as the sports. I also think it is an environment that I think Myron can flourish in.
"We have one more visit to Florida State, and we have been there previously. However, this time we are going with an intention. The first visit was to see the University and we saw a game between Florida and Florida State. Now we are going to do an in-depth evaluation.
We also went to Penn State. We have been to Penn State many times because my son attended Penn State. We had a chance to meet Joe Paterno, who is a very genuine person. I think Penn State offers some opportunities that the others don't, as far as proximity to home. However, I look at it this way, wherever Myron goes to school we wouldn't be too far away from him."
JH: Isn't your family moving with him or at least part of the family?
WR: "The family plan is that will happen. Whatever school he attends we are going to move the family in that area. You have to remember that Myron is our last child, and one of the things that we had to fight with was for him to even go to the Hun School because that is a boarding school and he was so young to live away from home. There are a lot of times and some good times that we are missing because of the sacrifices that have been made. I don't think we are going to continue to make those sacrifices by being away from him. We realize that once he finishes college, that he is like a bird clipping his wings and he is going to be flying away on his own."