By Mark Kaboly
Published: Saturday, May 5, 2012, 12:30 a.m.
Updated 3 hours ago
Myron Rolle has had conversations with Jesse Jackson and rubbed elbows with Bill Clinton during a humanitarian trip to the Republic of Congo last summer.
He graduated Florida State’s pre-med program in 2½ years with a 3.75 GPA; he has scrubbed in for surgeries as a shadow; was awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship; and received a master’s degree from Oxford University in medical anthropology.
But that just scratches the surface for this 25-year-old.
Rolle has had his own foundation for three years, he’s in the process of obtaining funding to open a free health services clinic and sports complex in his parents’ native land of the Bahamas and plans on finishing his medical degree and becoming a philanthropic neurosurgeon.
But the one thing that the Steelers safety has yet to accomplish is what drives him the most – making an NFL roster.
That might change this year, as Rolle was on the field Friday at the team’s minicamp for the first time since he signed with the Steelers in January.
“I think I have a decent shot if I do what I have to do,” Rolle said. “If I meet the standard of what Coach (Mike) Tomlin and the Steelers’ organization requires, I think I can put myself in position to earn a spot.”
After skipping a year of football to study abroad, the most success the three-year starting safety at Florida State has seen since being a sixth-round pick of Tennessee in 2010 was a year on the Titans’ practice squad.
Rolle, who is cousins with Giants safety Antrel Rolle and former Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle, went through a second training camp with the Titans last year but was released during the final cut down.
“I appreciated Jeff Fisher and the Titans for giving me that chance,” Rolle said. “I definitely appreciate Coach Tomlin and the Steelers giving me a chance here.”
Rolle signed a futures deal with the Steelers in January and provides a breath of youth into a position quickly aging. Ryan Clark is 32, Troy Polamalu is 31, Will Allen is 29 and Ryan Mundy is 27.
Rolle could provide what Allen did for the team last year — backup at both safety positions while playing special teams at a saving of nearly $1 million.
Rolle believes he is back in football shape after being away from the game for a year. He believes that’s what hurt him in Tennessee.
“Being in Oxford, where the weather isn’t great and rugby is probably the most important sport there, it is hard to stay in shape and do the things you need to do to play in the NFL,” Rolle said.
Even with his unique educational background and aspirations of becoming a neurosurgeon, football is something that Rolle is completed dedicated to now.
“After football is done, I hope my hands are still in good shape and I don’t have many concussions, so I will be able to perform surgeries on operating tables and travel and learn different cultures,” Rolle said.
Possibly losing two careers with one freak accident on the football field isn’t something Rolle dwells on.
“I can’t think about it because that will slow me down and I wouldn’t be as good a player as I possibly could be,” Rolle said. “If you look at it rationally, sure I am taking a chance, but life is about taking chances. I am excited about my opportunity here.”