What makes Myron Rolle's story unusual is not just that he's voluntarily stepping away from the NFL at the age of 26.
Rolle is retiring from football so that he can go to medical school. When was the last time you remember a pro athlete making that choice?
You may recall hearing about Rolle during his days at Florida State, where he starred as a safety for the Seminoles. Many thought Rolle would be selected in the first few rounds of the 2009 NFL draft. But Rolle was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship his senior season, and he decided to take a year off from football and study at Oxford.
He entered the 2010 NFL draft and was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the last pick of the sixth round. Rolle was released by the Titans after the 2011 season, picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers and then released after the 2012 preseason.
In a recent interview Rolle said he could have worked out for a new team, but his priorities now lie elsewhere.
"I still received interest from a few teams, and it didn't have to be over," Rolle told Lost Letterman. "Then I said to myself, 'I can knock my head against the wall for 8-9 years or move on to medicine.' I was leaving the game with no concussions and dexterity in both my hands, where I could be a neurosurgeon one day."
Even though he did not have a notable NFL career, Rolle became just the third man to receive a Rhodes Scholarship and play professional football. The previous two are Byron White, a former Supreme Court justice, and Pat Haden, currently the athletic director at USC. Not exactly bad company.
Now that he's not focusing on the NFL, Rolle is waiting to hear back from medical schools. He is currently serving an administrative fellowship at AmeriHealth Caritas, a Philadelphia managed care organization.
"I left football with no concussions or hand injuries," Rolle told CBSSports.com, "which is good for trying to be a doctor."
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