When Myron Rolle was 17 and a promising football player from New Jersey, he told the coaches at Florida State University during his official recruiting visit that he wanted to be an NFL player, a Rhodes Scholar and a neurosurgeon. Thirteen years later, he is checking the box on the last of these goals.

Rolle was a star football player at Florida State University (rated #1 football recruit in the US in 2006 by ESPN), and won a Rhodes Scholarship in his junior year there. He stepped away from being a second round draft pick in order to spend the year at Oxford that the Rhodes Scholarship awarded him. Upon his return he went back to football training and was picked in the 6th round by the Tennessee Titans. After a few years in the NFL he decided to pursue his dream of neurosurgery and enrolled in Florida State University Medical School, and will be graduating this Spring. Just a few weeks ago he learned that in the fall he will begin a neurosurgery residency at Harvard. Way to go Myron!

In a recent article about him in BET.com found here, Rolle talks about the tough decision to go to Oxford over being a top round draft pick: “I thought it was the best decision that would behoove my future interests and kind of place me in the category of being a role model for young people to get inspiration from, choosing academics over athletics.” While this decision may well have shortened his pro ball career (he had some difficulty being perceived as a “serious player” in the NFL upon his return), it enabled him to make all of his many dreams come true at a relatively young age.

Rolle is not too busy being a student to give back. He is the chairman of the Myron L. Rolle Foundation, which hosts the Myron Rolle Wellness and Leadership Academy for Florida foster children, “Rhodes to Success” (an academic workshop for at-risk teenagers) and “Our Way to Health” (an anti-obesity program for American Indians of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo tribes).

So tell your sons (and daughters) about this impressive student athlete who is eagerly pursuing his goals, and who wasn’t afraid to make a tough decision to stay true to all of his passions. How inspirational is that?!