Look at that picture. Pay particular attention to the eyes.
On a standard D-1 collegiate safety, they say "I dare you to come across the middle," or "Throw it my way. See what happens."
On this particular player, those eyes say something completely different. I don't know exactly what they say, but they probably say something along the lines of "I can beat you, cancer. A cure's comin', baby."
Aspiring doctor Myron Rolle would undoubtedly say it in much more technical terms.
Much was said about the Florida State safety when he missed part of a game against Maryland earlier this season.
He wasn't in court for possession, or shooting himself in the leg with his own (unregistered) gun. He wasn't on probation for missing team meetings or practices.
He was enduring an intense interviewing session for a Rhodes Scholarship.
The Rhodes Trust, founded in 1902, has awarded international students the opportunity to take a full-time postgraduate course at Oxford—yeah, that Oxford—for free. The award, which rewards outstanding academic achievement and strong character, also covers living expenses.
The Trust awarded Rolle with a scholarship, but he was also a legitimate NFL prospect with some scouts projecting him as high as a second-round pick in the upcoming draft. Surely, he faced a tough decision with heavy implications on the rest of his life.
Today, Rolle announced that he would be heading to London to pursue his academic endeavors.
I applaud Rolle's decision.
Earlier today, a certain pundit with a cable television show wondered why Rolle would pass up millions of dollars in the NFL to keep going to school. This comment was one of the more absurd ones I've ever heard come out of this particular person's mouth.
Any player coming out in this year's draft, especially ones drafted in the second and third rounds as Rolle would be, are not guaranteed a successful NFL career.
The path to becoming a successful oncologist or brain surgeon is far less difficult to navigate than the path to becoming a successful NFL safety, especially for a person who completed a pre-med program in only two and a half years.
Add to his resume and transcript "Oxford University," and Rolle's potential for success as a doctor is almost unlimited.
That wouldn't be the case in the NFL, where injuries and intense competition for the only 32 jobs in the world reject the most elite class of athletes in the world.
So, I'd like to bid Myron good luck on his upcoming adventure across the pond. He's equipped with all the tools to be whatever he wants, and if he would rather be a great doctor than a good professional football player, then far be it from me or anyone else to question his decision.
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