A combine for...Rhodes Scholars?

Tom Robinson

A sleepy day at the NFL scouting combine, at least in the winding-down media headquarters. Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are going through their paces on the floor of Lucas Oil Stadium. (Norfolk State's Chris Bell ran an unofficial 4.47 40 and benched 225 pounds 15 times, which was 14th best among recievers.) But only defensive backs are trickling through the fast-emptying interview room; Tom Cable, the Oakland Raiders’ coach, is the only NFL honcho scheduled to speak at a podium.

Of the d-backs, though, Florida State’s Myron Rolle just set off a real buzz by stepping to a microphone. Rolle, you might recognize, is the guy who spent a year at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He’s back with a degree in medical anthropology and a dream to be a neurosurgeon serving impoverished countries – after a decade-long NFL career, he hopes.

He wants there to be no mistake about that latter point.

“I want it as much as anybody who’s out here right now,” Rolle said. “I’m here to prove that, by the way I can perform during the drills, running the 40, the bench press and everything, competing and really testing my mettle in front of all 32 NFL teams."

Rolle admitted teams he's already interviewed with have asked him how he'll balance both his life's goals.

“That’s been a popular question I’ve received here, but my answer to them, which is a genuine answer and a truthful answer, is I think my pursuits academically have helped me in football. You learn discipline, you learn time-management, you learn structure, you learn organization, and as a football player those are obviously valuable assets you can use to be great.

"I tell them that I’ve been playing this game for a long time, I tell them that I was committed when I was over in England, I tell them that I’ve been training with Tom Shaw in Orlando . . I can demonstrate to them my commitment and love for football by my actions and how I proceed in the next few months or so. And I hope I’m able to convey that message with authenticity, because it’s really down deep in my heart. Football is a part of who I am.”