August 27, 2009

Rolle keeps promise

COLUMBUS -- Prior to the commencement of the 2009 fall camp nearly a month ago, junior linebacker Brian Rolle made a statement that not many people believed. Rolle, who has never suffered with lack of confidence, declared that he will be a starter this fall.

Some believed him. Even more didn't. But now, he looks to have been right the entire time.

During the entire course of fall camp, Rolle has been repping with the first team as the starting mike (middle) linebacker and as we approach the season-opener against Navy on Sept. 5, that doesn't look to be changing any time soon.

""I just look at myself and say, 'I can't be beat on any play,' before every play," Rolle said Wednesday. "My brother always told me to say that 'you can't be beat' anywhere. I try to be the fastest guy on the field and make every play, that's my goal. I just look to play fast."

Rolle didn't want to make any guarantees to anybody about his opportunity to become a starter this year, but to him, thinking any other way wasn't the best way to be successful. His confidence is his crutch, so thinking any other way aside from being the starter is almost unacceptable.
His confidence in his own ability is in large part to what led Rolle to be in his current situation.

"One thing the coaches here always tell me is that my confidence is my strength and my weakness, and I always have that confidence," Rolle said. "But actually being here now, it kind of humbles you and lets you know if you work hard, you're going to get what your works deserve. I just feel comfortable here. I've felt like a starter from the first day I got here and I worked like it. I have the extra work ethic that most people you see don't have. But it's just great to be in this position and to start here and be great."

Despite his confidence, Rolle has been able to remain humble.

While all signs surely point to Rolle being the starting linebacker at mike (or at least in the starting linebacking corps), he knows when you play at a school like Ohio State that competition is never over. Now, he just hopes to take that next step.

"My next step is to continue to get better," Rolle said. "I am not great, I am not even real good, and me looking at myself, I have a lot of growing to do and it's only going to show in the next couple of weeks. With me personally (I need to work on) discipline. That's something I look to get better in all the time.

"Actually I haven't," Rolle said when asked if he had established himself. "I haven't played my first down as a starter, so I can't really have established myself. I do see myself getting better every day and that's something that I strive to do whether it is in the film room or the weight room and asking coaches what I can do to better myself."

The linebackers have been rather snake bitten thus far in fall camp with the loss of Tyler Moeller for the season with a head injury and the loss of Austin Spitler for the majority of fall camp with a calf injury, but Rolle has been in there to step in and make a difference.

And his teammates have noticed.

"It's kind of weird (that he doesn't ever want practice to end) because some guys are tired, but he is always willing to stay on the field," said fellow linebacker Ross Homan. "He is a great player with good size and speed and he can really help us this year."

He isn't great just yet, but makes no mistake about it, Rolle certainly plans to be.

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