By Joe D.
By now most people are fully aware of how Myron Rolle plummeted down the draft. Did he have a DUI, did he quit on his team, was he suspended by the NCAA? No, his offense was being over hyped! Rolle is a brilliant person. He is a Rhodes Scholar and has aspirations to be a neurosurgeon. Rolle was never a potential first round draft pick. Even his coach at Florida State, Bobby Bowden, was hesitant to praise Rolle.
“Well, I think if he had played another year, I think he definitely could have benefited,” Bowden says. “I would classify him as a real solid football player, as you can imagine. He didn’t have as many big plays as you would expect, especially with the (lack of) interceptions.”
That doesn’t sound like a coach who believes his player suffered an injustice. I would agree with Bowden. Rolle is a solid college football player. However, he was not a top prospect who tumbled due to prejudices against the brilliant.
Coincidentally, there is a cautionary tale in THIS draft! Scott Sicko, an all-American TE from the University of New Hampshire (Division I-AA). He was not drafted by any of the 32 teams. He was coveted, however. Immediately after the draft, he received phone calls from the Chargers, Cowboys, Jets, Jaguars, and Chiefs all interested in signing him as a rookie free agent. Do you know what he said?
“I’m honored you called me, but I’m not going to play football anymore. I’m going to further my education.”
Sicko is praised for his decision (to persue a Masters or Ph.D. in history) by Peter King. King reports that while Sicko watched the draft, he came to the following decision. If he was drafted, Sicko would have reported to camp; if he wasn’t drafted, he would continue with his schooling. Does anyone want to argue that Sicko was 100% committed to football?
The fact of the matter is that teams don’t shy away from prospects who are too smart. Teams shy away from prospects who have options. Elway threatened to play baseball after he was drafted first overall unless he were traded from Baltimore. Charlie Ward was one of the greatest college athletes of his generation. He won the Heisman Trophy, played in the NBA, and was drafted by Major League Baseball. QB hungry teams didn’t spend a lowly 7th round pick on him. Deion Sanders quit football to play baseball full-time (though his retirement was shorter than Favre’s). No team wants to draft a player to find out that they would rather live out a modern day Bull Durham or wish to be the next John Keating. For some, football is a hobby. GM’s are not looking for hobbyists.