|This story originally published on GatorCountry.com|
(See Myron Rolle profile)
Rolle and his family have visited all six of the schools that made his final list. They even made a return trip to Gainesville this past weekend so that all his brothers could see the University of Florida and add their input when the family sits down in approximately two weeks to begin the final selection process.
Florida, Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma, Michigan and Penn State all made it to the stretch run for the 6-2, 216-pound defensive back who doubles as a punishing runner for The Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey. Which school emerges from the pack to cross the finish line in first is a complicated process that Rolle explained to Gator Country.
"Now that all my visits are over, within the next two weeks we will sit down at the table as a collective family unit and we'll discuss each school thoroughly," said Rolle. "We will recap each of the visits, sort through all the information that was shared from the different universities and then we'll compare and contrast.
"I think it's important to go through the pros and cons of each school with everyone giving input since not everyone sees things exactly the same way. Ultimately we will come up with one or two schools that best fit my needs academically, athletically and socially. It may be that one stands out alone but if there are two, we'll go through the process again and come up with the one that fits best."
This is indeed a family affair. While Myron says that the final decision will be his, all the input from the rest of the family will weigh heavily into making the choice. Because he has his future mapped out to include the possibility of professional football and the certainty of medical school, he is going to rely on the feedback of each family member to make the right choice.
"Everybody will have their input," he said. "The reason I went to Florida again is so my brothers could have input … so they could see with their own eyes the Florida campus, talk to the coaches and see the school and what it has to offer in each area, all that so they could have a pretty good impression as it related to the University of Florida."
After each visit, the family has taken the time to put their impressions in writing. Those impressions will be distributed to each family member when they sit down to select.
"At end of each visit we write down what each school said," said Myron. "We fill out a sheet that was prepared by my father that lists all kinds of criteria. We videotaped a lot of each visit, too, so we'll watch that. Then we will rank the schools.
"In the end, I will share my personal input, as far as my gut feeling because there are things that just can't be written down. Each school has its own good points and I got different vibes from each one. I'll share all that with them because there are things that I see and feel that can only come from me."
Academics, athletics and social life are the three major categories that will factor into the decision. He talked about each category and the things he looks for.
ACADEMICS: "I look for a school that can develop me for my future goals in the medical field. The second thing I look for are the different resources that the school has within the studies of neuroscience, microbiology, exercise science … any major that deals with the biological sciences in the pre-medicine route."
ATHLETICS: "First off, it's the opportunity to play that I will be looking at. Throughout my whole life I have been blessed and gifted enough to earn playing time because of my performances in practices and scrimmages. I don't want to go somewhere that there are several guys ahead of me. The schools that are on my final list are there for a reason and so are the guys who would be ahead of me on their depth charts. Next, I'm looking for the ability to be developed by great coaches who can prepare me for the possibility of playing in the NFL. I'm looking for defensive back coaches, strength and conditioning coaches and of course, the head coach, although I know that the head coach doesn't have as much contact with any one guy and it's the position coach and strength and conditioning coaches that you see most often. They are the people who can make me ready for pro football."
SOCIAL LIFE:" I'll be looking at how I socialize with the players and get along with them. I'm not looking for a place where there is a personality clash. I'm from New Jersey and I probably don't have a lot in common to talk about with people in places like Norman, Gainesville or Tallahassee. With me being more or less an outsider, I have to be sure that where I go is a place where I really connect with the guys on the team. The personalities really have to blend. I also am going to look at how the town appreciates and treats each player. I'm not talking about booster handouts or anything like that. That would be a negative. What I'm talking about is do the people in the town treat football players with respect? Are football players comfortable in any setting in the town? Those are important."
There is also the input of his brother McKinley that will rate high on his list. McKinley is planning to do graduate school in sports management wherever Myron decides to go to school. Myron says that he won't make the decision based on which school McKinley necessarily likes best, but he did say that McKinley's input might weigh a little more heavily than others.
"He will have an input and a say but again, it's my decision and it's mainly centered around me and what can best fit me," said Myron. "The idea of him coming to school where I am is a wonderful idea that I love so much. He's my best friend. He means everything to me.
"He's met with the different people in sports management at each school so he knows what they have to offer him. I know that this year he'll be getting his GPA in the right range so he won't have any trouble getting into grad school at any of the schools I choose. He will have an equal vote but the fact that he's so close to me it might actually weigh a little more. Ultimately, he will want what's best for me, though."
Once the family puts it all together and choices are made, there will be a lot of prayer and thought before the announcement is made. Right now, it looks like there will be some sort of press conference held around the first of September.
"This isn't an easy choice," said Myron, "but I'm blessed with a great family to help me make it. I know we'll make the right decision."