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#ProCanes Interview: @Giants DB Antrel Rolle

HurricaneSports.com continues its #ProCanes interview series Thursday with New York Giants DB Antrel Rolle. Rolle is one of four #ProCanes in action tonight as the Giants face the Chicago Bears on NFL Network – Bears PR/KR Devin Hester, Bears LB DJ Williams, Rolle and newly acquired Giants LB Jon Beason.

(Interview conducted by HurricaneSports.com intern Max Strauss)

HurricaneSports.com:  Even with your busy schedule as a professional football player in the NFL, do you still follow the Hurricanes on Saturdays?

Antrel Rolle: I try to watch them whenever I can. Whenever I’m not traveling, I’m keeping up with them.

HurricaneSports.com: What did you think of the team’s win over the Gators?

Antrel Rolle: I think it was a fanatical win. They showed perseverance, a lot of heart, and more importantly, they showed that never give up mentality. It was a tough game. They caused five turnovers. They forced a lot in the red-zone which was huge. That’s huge for any team on any level. I think those guys are playing with a chip on their shoulder. They’re playing with a lot of passion and more important than anything else, those guys are playing together.

HurricaneSports.com: On the team currently being undefeated?

Antrel Rolle: I think it’s huge. It’s a true testament of how these guys approach the game day-by-day. I think they’ve been doing an outstanding job. I think Coach Al Golden has been doing an amazing job as well as the rest of the coaching job down there. Those guys have been flying around down there. They look extremely fast, and more importantly it seems like they’re playing for one another at this point.

HurricaneSports.com: How far do you think Al Golden and the coaching staff can take the Hurricanes this season?

Antrel Rolle: I think they will as far as they want to go. I think they’re an extremely talented team, but I think right now, they’re 5-0, and there is a lot of football left to be played, but the sky is the limit for those guys. I think if they continue to take it the way they’re taking it, game by game, and if they continue to grow as teammates as well as players, I think the sky is the limit for this team.

HurricaneSports.com: Are there former Hurricanes teammates that you are still close with and speak with regularly?

Antrel Rolle: I keep in contact with Santana Moss, Bryant McKinnie, there are just a lot of guys throughout the league and every time I see them, we hang out, and have a good time. Some others are Quadtrine Hill and Marcus Maxey and Kellen Winslow. There are a lot of guys you speak to, it might not be on an everyday basis, but you’re keeping in contact with.

HurricaneSports.com: When you were with the Arizona Cardinals, you were a teammate of Edgerrin James who was just nominated to the ACC Legends team. What’s your relationship like with him and what do you think of him receiving recognition as an the ACC Legend?

Antrel Rolle: I think Edgerrin James is a Hall of Famer in my eyes. More importantly, he is a guy that is an extreme mentor. He’s been an outstanding mentor to myself when you’re talking about attacking the game, playing the game, as well as controlling certain circumstances outside of the game of football like how to manage your life, how to manage your time, how to manage your finances, so forth and so on. For me, he’s definitely been a mentor more than just being on the football field. He has been an outstanding friend and mentor outside the football field as well.

EJ being nominated to the ACC Legends, I think it just suits him great. I think he is an outstanding guy, a father figure, and an outstanding friend. I think Edgerrin James is someone that any player or former player can look to, for advice and guidance.

HurricaneSports.com: There are 38 players in the league who are on NFL rosters. What does #NFLU mean to you?

Antrel Rolle: It means everything. It means that we have established a program down there that not only gets you NFL ready, but allows you to have a successful career during your tenure in the NFL. I think we were a first class program down there, from training to schoolwork to everything we did on the field. It makes the transition to the NFL that much easier. The level of competition we had down there was better than the competition that you have in the NFL. Just being NFLU, we’ve had an outstanding number of guys selected in the first round as well as many other rounds, and we’ve made the NFL our home.

HurricaneSports.com: How do you think being a Miami Hurricane has prepared you for life in the NFL?

Antrel Rolle: I think the competition alone allows you to go out there and compete and go up against the best of the best competition. I think Coach Andreu Swasey has a phenomenal strength and conditioning program when it comes to athletic ability and being in shape. I think we’ve always been ahead of the game from that standpoint. Going out there and having that competition and having that family camaraderie allows you to apply it to whatever team you join at the NFL level.

HurricaneSports.com: Do you have any favorite memories from your time as a Hurricane?

Antrel Rolle: My favorite memory has to be the Rose Bowl. As a freshman, my primary role was Special Teams, but going out there and being a part of that, flying around and making plays on Special Teams. Just the excitement alone that myself, Sean Taylor, Frank Gore, Kellen Winslow that we had knowing we weren’t going to be starters, but our role was to go out there and be dominant on Special Teams, and we were extremely dominant on Special Teams.

After that, I think my senior year when we went up against Florida State, playing at home, and I believe it was on a Friday night. Going out there, it was an all out Battle of the Beasts. It was a phenomenal day, and that was definitely a highlight of the University of Miami for me because it lets you know the level of competition, the things you’re going to face, the ups and downs throughout the season, while you’re there throughout the NFL season.

HurricaneSports.com: Is there anything that you want to tell the Canes community that we haven’t really talked about?

Antrel Rolle: Just the fact that the University of Miami is a fraternity, it’s a brotherhood. There’s no place like it. Just the camaraderie there, it means everything to me. I think out of everything that I have gone through in my NFL career, the ups and downs, going to Super Bowls, and winning a Super Bowl, I don’t think there will be anything that compares to my time that I had when I was in college. Just the friendships that I’ve gained there, the brothers that I’ve gained there, the all around family atmosphere, and just having the Orange Bowl and that presence, and being in that atmosphere made it so much more remarkable beyond the game of playing football.