NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Rob Rolle, FS, Villanova University
- Rob Rolle IV
- Villanova University
What is your name?
- Robert L. Rolle IV “Quaddy”
Where do you play College Football?
- Villanova University Wildcats.
What position do you play?
- Free Safety.
What is your height/weight?
- 6’1″ 190lbs.
Did you play any other sports growing up? If so, what were they?
- Basketball up until 8th grade, and Track all the way through with football.
Who is the toughest player you have competed against in College?
- Darius Victor RB from Towson or James Conner RB from Pitt because they’re both big physical backs so you know you better bring it every time you try to tackle them.
Are you listening to music before a game? If so, what?
- Gospel Music or Meek Mill!! It’s been something I’ve done since about 10th grade, and it’s really stuck with me and helps me prepare mentally. All the way up until pregame warm ups I listen to a gospel playlist, then when it’s time to take the field for light warm-ups I switch to all music strictly from Meek.
Do you have any superstitions before a game? If so, what are they?
- None really, my music is all I really need to get prepared. I try not to think about anything outside of the moment when it comes to game-day, because if I’m worried about my lucky socks or something like that I can’t focus on what’s important.
Who is your role model & why?
- My father, because regardless of the circumstances, he taught me what it really means to be a man. And despite not always being in the best position to help me or my family, he’s always been the backbone and has always made sure whatever needed to be done got done. He taught me what it means to say something and really mean it, and how to stand up and take any situation on with my head high and with my chin up. Any situation we’ve ever been in, he showed me what it really means to be strong, and to never fold. So moving forward I know there’s nothing in this world that can break me, and that confidence comes from him.
While in College, what has been your favorite & least favorite class?
- Least favorite was probably all of the core classes we had to take, like the philosophies and theologies and core history classes. Not to say they’re a waste of time, but for me it’s very hard to hold interest in an educational experience that has nothing to do with my life or anything I’m passionate about. I know I’ve probably learned things from those classes that I will take with me beyond the classroom, but my best educational experiences in college were two classes; one, my senior project in which I got to partner with Graterford Prison to work with their Prison Literacy Project to help their inmate-run education class release their newsletter for the first time in a few years. The second was my social justice documentary class where we got the opportunity to make a film about the experiences of African American men here in the United States and their loss of identity and history through slavery and colonialism.
Outside of Football, what has been your favorite experience while in College?
- The National Championships won by the ball team, and the Super Bowl the Eagles won brought great experiences to our campus and the Philadelphia area in general. All three were experiences that will be remembered forever by a lot of people.
Growing up, who was your favorite NFL Team & NFL player, & why?
- My favorite team was/is the Atlanta Falcons because of Mike Vick. My dad is a Giants fan, and my uncle is a Chiefs fan, so when they sat me down to pick my team I remember watching Vick play and knowing instantly he was my favorite player; I had the braids, I played QB, and I wore #7. My favorite basketball player of all time is Allen Iverson, and Mike Vick was the A.I. of the NFL.
If you could be in any movie of your choice, what would it be & what character would you play?
- The Little Rascals, and any one of the characters honestly. I can pretty much recite every line from the movie, so you fill me in wherever and I’ll make it happen.
If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who are they?
- Malcolm X.
- My Poppy (grandfather).
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose & why?
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because he was so influential to people and so strategic with his methods to make progress, I would want to talk with him about how he was behind closed doors; i.e how he felt mentally, how he dealt with certain feelings and emotions and how he reacted to certain actions of people vs how he really wanted to handle things. Really just pick his brain, and get a deeper better understanding of who he was.
Who is your favorite superhero & why?
- I’ve never really had a real interest in superheros or any of the Marvel movies and stuff like that. My interest was in real life stuff like sports, and cars and dirt bikes & quads, or music. So when I was younger I may have watched a few Spider-Man or superman movies but none that I can even remember the plot to.
What is your definition of hard work?
- Fully understanding the impact you have on the people around you and letting that fuel you to give everything your best. So you have to put the work in when nobody cares, when nobody is looking and when nobody is there to support you, because it’s then when I found WHY I do what do and why I love it so much and would give anything to be successful in it. If you don’t understand or know why you’re doing what you’re doing or if you think it’s just about you, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Once I understood that, I didn’t need anyone to tell me to push harder or to take things serious, all that motivation from my family was all the fuel I needed to get it done regardless of whether anyone was with me or not. Because hopefully the team atmosphere brings about that competitive nature that everyone has. And I compete in everything I do, so it was easy to get good work in with the team, but I had to find that internal motivation that allowed me to continue to get better on my own as well.
What is the most unexpected lesson you learned while in College?
- Patience. I feel as though the competitive nature in me always made me try to get the things I wanted as soon as possible. I remember when I was younger and I would be getting a new pair of shoes, if they didn’t have my size left, I didn’t care to wait another week or even another day to go to another store, I wanted them NOW, so I would tell my parents they fit and walk out the store with sneakers that were probably half a size too small, but that was just me being impatient and not understanding that I could still get those shoes, in the right size if I could control myself and just wait a little. So in college, in dealing with my injury, I learned to be patient and understand that sometimes no matter how bad you want something, you can’t always get it right away, you have to be patient and do things the right way to get what you want. So that just took a little maturing and a change in mentality to understand being patient isn’t a bad thing, and once I started to get better and better at it I realized the end result is more rewarding.
What is something you wish you could go back & tell yourself as a High School Freshman?
- I would tell myself to “DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, NOT WHAT YOU OTHERS THINK YOU SHOULD BE DOING.” The way I was raised, I had a lot of people supporting me from an early age, and a lot of people contributed to get me to where I am today. But sometimes I think I found myself making decisions that I knew would keep this person happy, or something in that nature and I think that’s good to a certain extent but it’s also important to know that sometimes you have to do things that will make you happy. So I guess understanding that it’s okay to be selfish sometimes, within reason. Because sometimes you lose your happiness trying to please others because they support you, but there are ways to show your appreciation without catering your life to someone else’s opinion. Self love is real love, and once you do that, you can spread that out to the people around you and overall make everyone happier and in a better space mentally.
Why do you wear #4?
- It’s my favorite number. My nickname is Quadd because I’m Robert L. Rolle IV so since I was a baby everyone at home has always called me Quaddy. So it just fits me perfectly, and aside from wanting to be Mike Vick or Tyrann Mathieu wearing #7 I’ve always loved #4.
You are a Communication major with a Sociology minor. What made you pursue those subjects?
- Because Communication is such a flexible major, you can pretty much do whatever you want with it and that’s what I liked about it. If I wanted to do journalism, or media relations or whatever I wanted I could do that, whereas other majors I feel like you’re more constrained to certain classes or paths. And I was actually a double major initially because I was so far ahead with taking summer classes every year that I was able to pick up sociology after I had already declared communication, but after some classes in I decided to drop it to a minor and take more comm courses. So I did my whole thing with educating myself about prisons and mass incarceration, while also getting some really good work in with media production classes with film-making and things of that nature. The sociology aspect was just the icing on the cake with some courses regarding analyzing social movements, and social network interactions.
In the summer of 2017, you had an internship as a case manager at George W. Hill correctional facility in Glen Mills, PA. What was that experience like & what lessons did you learn?
- That was one of the best experiences of my life and it taught me more lessons than I can even remember. It gave me a real life insight into the lives of people who are just like me and come from the same places I come from but have been completely isolated and cut off from society. I got a better understanding of these people we call inmates and criminals and convicts and felons, and showed me that ½ the stereotypes that circulate throughout society regarding these people are mostly inaccurate and that’s what made my passion for this prison reform grow to where it is now. You would think the inmates were mean, nasty, rude people but that’s not the case more times than none. These people were some of the most polite, well spoken, intelligent people I’ve ever spoken to. They’re treated completely like animals and it made me want to change things. I would walk passed the food trays coming to the cells everyday on my way to lunch to eat my nice sandwich and just think where my head would be mentally if I were in their shoes. Then when you really connect with the inmates you see on a more regular basis, and you hear their story and how they got to where they are, and what life was like prior to being arrested you feel even worse because you see these are regular people who made mistakes in everyday situations where we come from. They’re not monsters, animals, they’re regular people who unfortunately made a bad decision at some point in their life, now they’re thrown into this ruthless animalistic environment and basically held there until they die. And the more sickening thing about the people I spoke to was seeing inmates be incarcerated within weeks of being released. There were guys that got out and were back in before my summer internship was even over. They’re released back into society with no real growth while in prison, no resources or programs to help them successfully re-enter society. Not to mention the crazy probation and parole policies that almost ensure they’ll violate their conditions and be re-incarcerated without having to even commit another crime. Sorry for the tangent, but this is something I’ve grown to be really passionate about and the internship was an important part of that along with the education aspect I got at Villanova.
You are very active in volunteering around the community. Whether it be giving your time at a home for priests near campus or spending time at Radnor Middle School. What makes these experiences so rewarding for you?
- These experiences are great for me because it’s showing love back to the people that support me and motivate me. Every opportunity is fun and different and each time you take away something different from the experience so every chance I get I take it. It’s never hard, or ever too time consuming, so why not take a few hours out of my day to do those types of things when I have some free time. For those few hours nothing else matters outside of connecting to people who you would have not otherwise interacted with, so I like that type of stuff.
What is the best part of your hometown, Newfield, NJ?
- I’m actually from a small town about 10 minutes away from Newfield called Clayton. All of my family lives in Clayton, and most of them are literally neighbors so I guess the best part about my hometown is just all of my family being right there and around each other everyday. We’re 45 mins from the shore in South Jersey, 30 minutes from Philly and less than 2 hrs from NYC. So the location is good, and gives us access to a lot of cool things that the Northeast has to offer, and all the beautiful land you could ask for to ride quads and dirt-bikes.
Who do you choose, Jordan or LeBron?
- Neither. I don’t feel like I’m in a position to make that call personally because I wasn’t old enough to actually witness the legacy of Jordan. I watch the tape and I see how good he was but I didn’t personally watch games to form my own opinion on the debate. I don’t think researching stats does the argument justice because each case is different situations and circumstances. So I respect both equally I guess, don’t really feel one way or another because my favorite player is A.I. anyway.
Are you a PS4 or Xbox One guy? What games are you playing right now?
- PS4. And Fortnite of course because everyone is on it, but other than that I’m really big on Rock Band lately. About a year ago I went and bought the whole kit, 2 guitars, the drums, the mic and all, and my boys love to come to the room and go crazy for a couple hours at a time. Our band has done many many tours, and will probably get back on the road soon now that we’re here at school for the summer. But other than that I still play 2K, Madden and Grand Theft Auto until EA sports releases NCAA Football again… hopefully.
What has been your most memorable moment as a student-athlete?
- My back-2-back 100 yard interception returns at the beginning of the 2016 season. I Got Student-Athlete of the month that month so I thought that was pretty cool I don’t think anyone in college football has ever had back to back returns like that although my second one was called back because of a penalty.
If you could have three wishes granted, what would they be?
- A cure for cancer.
- Endless money.
- Ability to fly.
What is your hidden talent?
- I’m not really sure I have one, I can draw pretty good. I draw all of my tattoos that I get so I guess that’s the hidden part about my artwork.
If there is a book being written about Rob Rolle IV, what is the title?
- Something creative like “IV What?” or something like that. It would probably talk about hope and faith and finding purpose in everything you do.
What are three things on your “Bucket List?”
- Travel to Ghana, Bora Bora, and Dubai.
Are you binge watching anything on Netflix or Hulu right now?
- Good Doctor, How to get Away with Murder, & 7 Seconds.
If you had one free hour each day, how would you choose to use it?
- Riding 4-Wheelers.
If you could intercept one NFL QB, past or present, who would it be & why?
- Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, because they probably through the least amount in the league, so if I picked them off I know I must’ve been doing something right.
What are the goals for 2018, both individually & for the Villanova football team?
- I don’t have any goals pertaining to stats individually, I’m just super excited and grateful to have the opportunity to get back on the field and make those plays that I know I can make and have made in the past. I never set goals for tackles or interceptions, I just go out every game trying to make plays and wherever that leaves me at the end of the year just is what it is. In high school I would say I wanted 5 interceptions by the end of the year and my junior year when we won the championship I finished with 1 and that wasn’t until the championship game. Then senior year I just went and balled out with no set number and finished with 4. My junior year at Villanova when I had 7, if you would’ve told me at the beginning of the year that I would have even 3 interceptions I would’ve thought that was good. So I don’t really set goals, but when it’s all said and done I want to have earned All-Conference and All-American honors. But the goals are always the same for the football team, we want to be undefeated at home, Win a CAA championship and then a National Championship, and have fun while doing it.
If you could give NFL scouts three words to describe the type of man they are getting in Rob Rolle IV, what would they be?