Tomorrow a group of NFL Draft prospects who have ties to the Philadelphia area will be at the NovaCare Complex showing off their skills to the Eagles coaches and scouts at the team's local pro day. These players have this one last chance before next week's draft to prove that they deserve to have their name announced over the weekend, or at the very least deserve an invite to training camp.
One of those players attending the local pro day is former Villanova defensive back Rob Rolle. The former Wildcat was kind enough to answer some of our questions about his background and what his draft preparation and process has been like.
Did you grow up a fan of the Eagles? Do you know much about the history of Philly/the team?
I actually grew up a super huge fan of Mike Vick so by nature I was a Falcons fan. So when he left Atlanta I stayed loyal to the team, but I really appreciated Philly giving him a second chance so that really made me respect and support the Eagles although I wasn’t a “fan”. But I’m very aware of the history of the franchise being so close to home, and a lot of my family and friends are Eagles fans so I was a second class fan based off proximity alone.
Any current players on the Eagles you’ve watched/tried to model your game after?
I really like how Malcolm Jenkins plays the game and really respect how he conducts himself on and off the field. He’s definitely a player I’ve watched over the years and tried to emulate certain aspects of his style of play.
Favorite moment/play from your college football days?
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I just listen to this gospel music playlist that I’ve had since high school. It gives me that confident calm mentality to keep me sane until I get amped up to my Meek Mill playlist during warm-ups.
Favorite moment/experience during this draft process?
My favorite part of this draft process thus far was definitely the training I did at Test Football Academy. I quickly gravitated to a group of guys with that same passion and heart that I have for the sport and the grind and it really made that training process a breeze. We came in, and brought great energy and competed every day and the results spoke for themselves from our pro-days. Definitely feel like I got that family oriented atmosphere that just really helped me elevate my workout each day.
Have any plans for the draft? Having a party or staying alone and isolated?
I just want to stay home with my family and a few close friends and just treat it like a typical gathering we would have at the house any other weekend. I know the draft can go a million different ways, and I don’t care if I’m the first pick of the draft or the last, or the last free agent picked up after the draft, because I know I’m going to do everything I can to make the team that I land with. So once I know where I’m going then maybe I’ll celebrate with my friends a little but until then I just want to relax with my family.
If you get get drafted by the Eagles or end up in their training camp, who are you most excited to be teammates with/potentially face in practice?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say it would be really exciting to team back up with former teammate Corey Clement from midget football. My entire family has always followed and supported his career, and it was great to see someone from my same area go on to accomplish the things he’s accomplished this early in his career. So it would just be really cool for my family and friends to see us play together on that stage.
Do you have a plan for life after football/is there a certain career you want to start after you hang up your cleats?
I plan to use the work I did in college to stay involved with the prison system and helping inmates obtain education. I’ve interned at George W. Hill correctional Facility, and did work for my senior project with the Prison Literacy Project at Graterford. So I obtained a master’s certificate in higher education to get that teaching background so I can continue my work with both the prison system and education.
If/when you make an NFL roster, what’s the first thing you’re buying after signing your contract?
I have done some early work with created my own brand that will encompass everything I’m passionate about and interested in. So God willing after the draft I will be able to put some money into that and get that vision jumpstarted.
The Eagles certainly have their eye on Rolle. In addition to the local pro day invitation, the team also had reps watching Rolle at his pro day last month. With safety depth after Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod a question mark, Rolle has a chance to show his skills and prove he deserves a spot on the Eagles roster if given the opportunity.