The nation's top defensive prospect — Myron Rolle of Princeton, N.J. — took his second unofficial visit of the spring to the University of Miami this weekend. Rolle, who talked to OUInsider.com earlier this evening, was guarded with his comparisons, but did give a few tidbits about how the Sooners and Hurricane match-up.
JH: How did your visit got Miami?
MR: "That was another good visit that I had. I had an itinerary set up similar to what I had for Oklahoma. We got to Coral Cables at around noon and the first meeting was with the Sports Information Department. They were talking about the different postseason awards they have for the Miami players and how they prepare the players for the media, and how they deal with the media. They talked about how they promote their players.
"Then we met with the academic support team. I can say that the Oklahoma Academic Support Team impressed me a little more than the Miami Academic Support Team. Miami was pretty good, but I just felt that Teresa Turner did a wonderful job presenting her position of the support staff for the football team.
"After that, we toured around a little bit and met with Miami President Donna Shala. She is a very nice lady, who is very enthusiastic and who loves UM football. She is very involved with the whole school. She was involved in President Clinton's cabinet and she really loves her position there. I had a great meeting with her. While I was with her the Provost at the University of Miami, who is the head of the entire faculty, showed up and I got to ask him a few questions about the neuroscience undergrad major at Miami. I also talked to him about balancing that type of curriculum with football. My parents were very impressed with our meeting with those two administrators.
"After that, we went to practice and I got to meet Jimmy Johnson. I talked to him a long time on the sidelines and he had his Super Bowl Ring on. This weekend was actually unique for Miami as it was alumni weekend and there were all kinds of former players there. I met with Jimmy Johnson and talked to him for a long time. He was really energetic with a great personality. He was just as animated off the camera as he is on camera. He was really good and a fun guy to talk to as well.
"I met and talked to Warren Sapp. I talked to Damione Lewis, met Gino Torretta, and I talked to him for a while. All of those guys were very accommodating and welcomed me to their program. The current players were happy to see their former players and they were introducing me as the No. 1 recruit in the country, and that was a good experience.
"They took a liking to me and I thought that was neat that they expressed some interest in me and talked to me about Miami and their experience there. I really enjoyed that.
"At the practice, I watched the defensive backs play and I talked to Tim Walton, the defensive back coach. I watched their technique and what they did. After that, I went and talked to their Strength and Conditioning Coach (Andy Swasey). He is a remarkable person. Something that you notice is that the best teams in the country have the best strength programs, and that has clearly been evident the past two weekends.
"Coach (Jerry) Schmidt and Coach Swasey are two of the very best in the country. I think that is one of reasons why Oklahoma and Miami are always on top because their program starts with their strength program. What proves that his program is so good and how good of a coach that he is, is the fact that all of these former players come back to workout with him and to work in the weight room, even when they are in the NFL they stay in his program. That proves that he does a wonderful job with the players in Miami.
"Something else that Miami told me that was very appealing to me, especially playing defensive back, was that all the players come back and workout with the team. All the players and defensive backs come back and share their knowledge of the game and their experiences in the NFL. For instance, at defensive back I would be going up against Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss, and I would be getting tips form guys like Sean Taylor and Ed Reed. That is pretty big. That means a lot that you can get a lot of information from them and basically absorb their knowledge and what they know about the game. I can use that and apply that on the field, and that can make you a better football player.
"I met with Randy Shannon the Defensive Coordinator, and again Tim Walton to talk about their defensive scheme. We talked about how they play their cornerbacks and the techniques that they use. The defense was pretty simple to pick up. I picked it up in about an hour and a half.
"So, coming in for spring ball like I plan on doing, then the fact I picked it up that fast in a meeting could be a big benefit for me. That is a good sign for me to understand what I am doing before spring. That was another good thing.
"Randy Shannon is a great coach and a wonderful defensive coordinator. I love the way they defense, which is the same way as Oklahoma. The good teams have great defenses and both defenses that I saw this past weekend fly to the football. They are always coming full speed ahead. That is what I like and what I really like about defense.
"Plus, what I like about their cornerbacks is that the depth chart if very favorable to me. The two cornerbacks starting are seniors and they have a good junior who is probably going to leave early. They also play press man a lot and a lot of man-to-man coverage, and that is one of my strengths in football and the coverage techniques that I use. So, that first day was extremely good. I got to learn a lot about the football program and the academic part of Miami."
JH: So you like how your talents fit into the Miami defense?
MR: "Yes sir. They play a lot of press man and they rely on the athletic talent of their defensive backs to play well. They teach the proper techniques, which allow the coaches to trust the players as far as putting them on an island out there at cornerback. They allow them to lock up man-to-man on a receiver out there. That is something that I like to do."
JH: So, after visiting both OU and Miami what are your thoughts?
MR: "I am not going to compare them right now publicly, and I am not going to give a leader between the two. I will say that Miami knew that I had a great visit at Oklahoma and they know that Oklahoma had set the bar pretty high and they did their best to match what Oklahoma did. That wasn't easy for them because Oklahoma has set the bar pretty high. They showed me a good time and they were able to answer all of my questions."
JH: What did your family think of the visit?
MR: "My mom, dad and brothers were all there and they were impressed. They like the visit very much just like they did at Oklahoma. They were very impressed with what Miami has to offer and their hospitality towards us."
JH: What did you think of the area where the University of Miami is located?
MR: "Well, where the University of Oklahoma and the University of Miami are located is totally different. OU is located in a nice town that is a college town, while Miami is located in a big city, which is a little more what I am used to. Living in New Jersey, I have grown up in a big city and I am accustomed to what goes on in a city, and I like it. I like a college town as well and I feel I can adapt to any environment that I live in."
JH: Are you still going to visit Michigan this weekend?
MR: "Yes, I am going to visit Michigan this weekend then Florida and Florida State in May."
RECRUITING: Rolle impressed by trip to Miami
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