April 21, 2006
A successful spring football practice has wrapped up and if you didn't know this guy's name before he stepped foot on campus this January, you do by now. I sat down with freshman safety Myron Rolle, the nation's No. 1 high school player a year ago, for Seminoles.com. Myron talked about his impressions of FSU so far and how his first semester has gone in the classroom and on the field. In my 12 years here at Florida State, I can honestly say that this may be the first time I did an interview with one of our freshman football players and was 100 percent certain that the guy sitting across from me was twice as smart as I was (and I consider myself well above average in that area). Here's what Myron had to say about topics such as missing the last half of his senior year of high school, coach Mickey Andrews, Drew Weatherford's dancing ability and his big performance in the spring game.
1) Is everything going as well as you had hoped it would as you finish your first semester at
MR: Everything is going a lot better than I expected. I always thought I was going to do well in the classroom and I've done pretty well so far. We have finals coming up next week. On the football field, I think I've improved a lot. I've grown a lot physically and caught up a little bit with the mental part of it. I think that was demonstrated in the spring game in how well I played.
2) Could you have written the script any better so far with the interception return for a touchdown in the spring game? Is that about as good as you could have drawn it up?
MR: I think so. I always want to be a playmaker whenever I'm on the field. I was thinking the night before I want to make some plays in that game. I wanted to make an impact somehow in the game. It got a little later in the game, I saw the ball go up, made the interception, and took it to the endzone. I think that's indicative of the coaching that
3) Is there a big difference from your first day of spring practice to where you are right now?
MR: Certainly. There's a huge difference in the way I play the game now as opposed to the way I played back when spring practice started 15 practices ago. I was not reading my keys as fast as I should have been. When the quarterback goes into the game and checks into different things, and the receivers motion, you have to go into different coverages and different defenses. That's something that was new to me and something I wasn't accustomed to. I think I've grown a lot with the help of some of the older guys on the team like Roger Williams, who has been kind of a mentor in the defensive backfield with me.
MR: Two different guys. When
5) Name a teammate who is a different person once you've gotten to really know him as compared to how you thought he would be?
MR: I thought Drew Weatherford would be real uptight and a guy that was really serious. I heard that he stays in the playbook all the time, watches film, and is a really good student of the game. I didn't think he would be able to have any fun but Drew dances better than some black guys I know. He has awesome rhythm, likes rap music, and he's just a down to earth guy. He's a lot different than I expected. Somebody who is a character, too, that a lot of people don't know is Lawrence Timmons. He's a funny guy. If you just hang out with him a couple times, he'll start opening up and you start to get a lot more jokes out of him. Those two guys have definitely changed my perception.
6) What classes are you taking this semester and which of those have you enjoyed the most?
MR: This spring I'm taking four classes, which totals 13 hours. I'm taking Chemistry I, General Psychology, English and Honors American Literature. My hardest class is p
7) At what point do you become a sophomore?
MR: I have 24 credits and I am going to take another CLEP exam for history to 1867 which would give me another three credits. After this semester is over, I'll be a sophomore. This summer I'll take nine more credit hours with Chemistry II and Introduction to Statistics. As we go on, I should graduate in three years and then if I stay at
8) Do you feel like you are in an important position in that you can show people that athletes can be as great a success off the field as they are on the field?
MR: I think about the fact that I can be a role model or a trend-setter for football players understanding and realizing that they can put as much effort as they do on the football field into the classroom. It's something I've done for a long time so it's not really something new to me. I've always made academics a priority. My family has always emphasized that fact to me. Coming to
9) If I was still in school, you would have my vote for student body president. Is that something you would consider doing down the road?
MR: Definitely. I was the president of our high school and that's something I would consider. I think it will be a little while before I can run for that - maybe my junior or senior year. I just have to keep demonstrating to people that I'm a student-athlete and the word student comes before the athlete part.
10) You should be finishing up your senior year of high school right now, going to prom, etc. Do you ever think you should be back with your friends in
MR: I think sometimes about all of that especially when by buddies back home call me. They tell me about how much fun they are having, who is hanging out with who, how the basketball and track teams are doing. Those are things that I miss from high school. I know this would have been my last semester of high school and it is a special one because you get to go out with your friends and people you grew up with. That can make for a lot of special memories. Unfortunately, I am going to miss my prom, but I am going back for graduation on June 2nd so I'll be back to see my friends then. I think in the big picture and in the long term, I made the right decision. I'm getting a head start and I'll possibly be able to get on the field right away against