Bobby Bowden confided to select staff while recruiting all-world safety Myron Rolle that if he chose Florida State, it would be one of the most important signees in FSU history. While the legendary head coach knew the talented Rolle would be a great fit in the Seminole secondary, his praise stemmed from the academic achievements of the Galloway, N.J. native and the Ivy League opportunities he would have to turn down to come to Tallahassee. It turns out Bowden was right on both counts.
Today, the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame announced Rolle’s selection, placing him among the most accomplished student-athletes in history.
Rolle graduated from Florida State in 2 1/2 years with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and played his final two years while enrolled in a master’s program in public administration.
Rolle founded ‘Our Way to Health,’ a curriculum for fifth graders that addressed diabetes and obesity for students at a charter school run by the Seminole Tribe of Florida; conducted research on the metabolic profile of stem and cancer cells; tutored at-risk 8th graders, studied abroad; and was an integral part of one of the nation’s best collegiate defenses.
College football fans likely remember Rolle’s dramatic Rhodes Scholarship final interview when he joined seven finalists for the mandatory meetings in Birmingham, Ala., on a Saturday afternoon in November 2008. Following his appearance before the selection committee, Rolle boarded a chartered plane and flew to College Park, Md. He arrived in time to play the second half of the Seminoles’ 37-3 win over Maryland in a nationally televised game.
It would hardly be the last time his passion for football and academics drew the spotlight.
Along with his Rhodes Scholarship recognition came an opportunity to study at England’s famed Oxford University, but doing so meant he would be postponing or even giving up a lucrative opportunity to play in the NFL. Rolle chose to attend Oxford for the 2009-10 academic year to pursue an M.Sc. in medical anthropology.
After completing his masters, Rolle entered the 2010 NFL Draft and was the second Seminole selected when the Tennessee Titans picked him in the sixth round. He played two years with Tennessee and the 2012 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers before retiring from the NFL to attend FSU’s College of Medicine, from which he graduated in 2017.
Rolle went on to a residency in neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is currently a Global Neurosurgery Fellow at Harvard Medical School.