Myron Rolle, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers
Q: Anyone try to draft you on to an intramural rugby team at Oxford?
A: Oh yeah. They did. I was going to play the wing against Cambridge in the big, big match we have over there, but those guys are kind of crazy with no pads. A lot of them don’t have teeth, so I didn’t want to do it.
Q: That’s Michigan-Ohio State isn’t it?
A: Or Florida-Florida State. Yeah, it was a pretty big deal. It was a great experience over there, Oxford. I’ll never forget it.
Q: Any regrets?
A: Looking back on it, if I had any regrets they were short-lived and very transient. When I look at the big picture I think I made the right decision not only for myself but for my family and for other people who look up to me as a role model or sort of paradigm for scholastics and athletics.
Q: What feedback did you get at the time?
A: A lot from parents who want me to serve as sort of a mentor, or a guy for their children to focus on in school. My parents came from the Bahamas and they made academics the No. 1 priority. That was something that was routine in my life and it stuck with me and it just went to a bigger magnitude at Florida State when I had the opportunity to go to Oxford University. I’m very proud of the position I’m in. I’m very humbled, too.
Q: You're a medical student. Is football more difficult than surgery?
A: I haven’t been in surgery yet so this is tougher. This is great. It’s a great opportunity. I’ve been playing football since I was six in New Jersey and I’m excited to be out here again.
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: I still have a love for the game. I still feel I have athleticism in my body to be able to contribute to a team. I was just excited by this opportunity. Everything I’ve seen, hear, the workouts I’ve done so far, this practice here – which was high-tempo, high-intensity with coaches who love the game – you just get that feel that everybody loves it here. As soon as I signed with Pittsburgh a bunch of fans wrote me on Facebook and Twitter to welcome me to the team. It was astounding. It was almost overwhelming. To have that love – to give it back is something I want to do on the field, show that on every snap I go 100 percent and do all I can.
Q: Do you view it as an opportunity that they didn’t draft a safety?
A: I do. Any time I step on the field I see an opportunity. Every time I take a snap it’s my time to show the coaches and the organization I can contribute here and earn a spot. There’s a level that I want to reach; there’s a level that every man needs to reach here to be a Steeler, to be a part of this team, and I’m just looking forward to grinding every day to get there.
(For a closer look at Myron Rolle, here's a recent feature in his hometown paper.)