Myron Rolle’s quest to play in the NFL took another hit Monday.
Rolle, who grew up in Galloway Township and spent his freshman year of high school at St. Augustine Prep, was among 15 players the Pittsburgh Steelers released.
“They actually told me last night at the hotel where we’re all staying,” Rolle, a safety, said Monday in a phone interview. “I was surprised when it happened because I thought I had a good camp. I thought I played pretty well. I played hard and I gave maximum effort.
“I definitely have nothing to be ashamed of. It wasn’t a case where I was making a lot of mistakes and they had to get rid of me because I was stinking up the field. I actually felt like this was the best training camp I’ve ever had and that I’m the best football player I’ve ever been.”
The 25-year-old now has some tough career choices to make.
Rolle must decide whether to keep pursuing his dream of playing in the NFL or attend medical school with the hopes of becoming a neurosurgeon.
The former Florida State University standout put his football career on hold in 2009. Having already gotten his undergraduate degree in exercise science in 21/2 years, Rolle gave up his fourth season with the Seminoles upon earning a Rhodes scholarship. He obtained a master’s degree in medical anthropology from Oxford University in England and returned to football in 2010 when the Tennessee Titans chose him in the sixth round of the NFL draft.
Rolle, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, spent his entire rookie season on the Titans’ practice squad and was out of football last season after the Titans released him at the end of the preseason.
There is a chance he could re-sign with the Steelers as a member of their eight-player practice squad next week, try to hook on with another team or give up football and focus on his medical and philanthropic endeavors.
“It’s still too early for me to say if my career is over or if I’m going to continue,” Rolle said. “I want to meet with my agent (Miami-based Chafie Fields), my parents, my brothers, and pray with my pastors before I make any decisions.
“No matter what happens, I’ll be fine. Not too many people can say they were drafted in the NFL and not too many people can say they were a Rhodes scholar.”
Rolle is among four local players trying to make an NFL roster this season, along with Oakland defensive end Jack Crawford (Longport, St. Augustine Prep), Cincinnati long snapper Clark Harris (Stafford Township, Southern Regional) and New York Giants defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks (Millville).
Crawford, a sixth-round draft pick of the Raiders this season, saw his odds improve after Oakland released two defensive ends Monday. Harris is expected to play in his fourth season with the Bengals. Hendricks also has a good chance to sticking with the Giants, especially with veteran defensive tackle Chris Canty having been placed Monday on the team’s reserve/physically unable to perform list. Canty must miss at least the first six games this season.
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