December 2nd, 2008
05:53 PM ET

Here's a football player you can admire

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Editor's note: Hear the full story of a football player kids can truly look up to - tonight on AC360 at 11pm ET.

Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

Professional and college athletes normally make the headlines or a feature on CNN for something negative: Michael Vick's dog fighting charges, Adam 'Pacman' Jones' numerous run- ins with the law, various college football players getting suspended for cheating, not making their grades, etc. So it is refreshing to see an amazing college athlete be featured for doing something positive.

Meet Myron Rolle, a Florida State University student athlete who is as good on the football field as he is in the classroom, and I mean that in the most positive way. Rolle graduated in 2-1/2 years, is now working on his masters degree with an eye on med school to be a neurosurgeon. He has dreams of opening a clinic in the Bahamas, where his parents are from. He also dreams of playing in the NFL.

Oh, and another dream of his? To study at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Myron Rolle may just do all of the above, after being one of just 32 students to win the Rhodes Scholarship less than two weeks ago. The Rhodes Scholarship is generally a two-year expense-paid graduate study program at Oxford University in England, and it is one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world.

I spent the weekend in Tallahassee with a CNN team including anchor Don Lemon and the rest of the CNN crew talking to Myron, hanging out with his family and watching him play his final home football game as a FSU Seminole. Rolle and his family were still beaming over his being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship the weekend before. And the massive downpour during the game did not diminish that feeling at all.

The pre-game ceremony said it all for me. As FSU was warming up, with their rivals the Florida Gators on the other end of the field, the PA announcer started naming the starting line-ups.

The stands were about half full, as most of the fans were hanging out in the relatively dry areas beneath the stadium. Once the music began and the images of the FSU starters showed up on the dual jumbo screens, the cheers got louder. But none more loud than for starting defensive back, #3 Myron Rolle.

The fact that Rolle was being cheered the loudest, especially by the student section, said a lot to me. This kid is a great player among great players, and those guys normally garner big cheers anytime their names are called.

However, his notoriety for what he has done as a student has clearly earned him many more fans. But what is more impressive about him is that - as proud as he is of his on the field achievements - Rolle's work in the classroom and his Scholarship are just as important to him, if not more so.

You don't find that often in athletes with the potential to play pro ball.

After FSU lost to the Gators, Rolle was greeted by coaches and players from the other team, offering congratulations and best wishes as he pursues his many dreams. I overheard one Florida player tell him that it was an honor to play against him. He has had an impact not only the FSU community, but FSU's rivals as well.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Football • Kay Jones
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    A great story. I heard SI dropped the ball on not giving Myron the coveted Sportsman of the Year award, and not to take anything away from the recipient, Phelps, but in an time where they are dying for someone for kids to be able to look up to in Football, there couldn't be a stronger candidate. Loved the story, and very well written.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  2. Dee from CT

    We need more athelets like this – someone children can trully look up to and admire!

    December 3, 2008 at 10:05 am |
  3. Heather, NYC

    What an amazing story. It is so nice to hear about a football player who has his eyes set on academics as well. Hopefully he will serve as a role model for many more athletes.

    December 3, 2008 at 9:37 am |
  4. Fay, CA

    Now this is the kind of sports-related report that is actually worth hearing about–what a remarkable young man.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:24 pm |