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Linebacker Matt Rolin is one of eight early enrollees in UF's football program.

Wednesday February 20, 2013Early Enrollee Q&A: Gators Linebacker Matt Rolin

Linebacker Matt Rolin is one of eight early enrollees in UF's football program.

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

Editor's note: National Signing Day was Feb. 6 and Gators coach Will Muschamp announced the 2013 recruiting class. Eight members enrolled early and began classes in JanuaryGatorZone.com caught up with the players for a Q&A series.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. In early December Matt Rolin made the biggest decision of his young life.

The linebacker from Ashburn (Va.) announced on Twitter that he had decided to verbally commit to Florida after originally committing to South Carolina several months before.

"Going back on my word is something I never imagined myself doing and it hurts me to do it, but in end I have do what's best for me," Rolin wrote. "I have officially committed to THE University of #Florida. I will be wearing #9 as I continue to chase my dreams at #Florida."

A visit to UF in late November made Rolin reconsider. The Gators are glad the 6-foot-4, 230-pound linebacker did.

Rolin signed with the Gators in January and has spent the past several weeks getting acclimated to college and working in the gym to rehab from a season-ending left knee injury that prevented him from finishing his prep career at Briar Woods High.

GatorZone.com caught up with Rolin recently for a Q&A:

Q: What do you want to get from being an early enrollee?

A: The main thing is to get my knee right and feel better for fall camp, just learn the playbook and rehab my knee.

Q:  What sold you on the Gators after you had originally committed to South Carolina?

A: I would say probably the coaching staff and how comfortable I am here. It feels like a home here and I really liked all the coaches. It's sad to see Coach Quinn leave but Coach Durkin is going to do a good job as defensive coordinator.

Q: What do you consider your greatest asset this early in your career?

A: I would say my versatility. I can play inside linebacker, outside linebacker, tight end. I played both ways [in high school].

Q: What is your best day in football?

A: I won three state championships in high school, but I'd say the second one was the best because the third one I didn't play because of my knee. Winning that second state championship and watching the clock hit zero -- that was the best day.

Q: You had never been seriously injured until your knee, so what's that been like to deal with?

A: It's been tough. It was tough watching all playoffs, but my team was pretty stacked. They were able to win that third state championship.

Q: What's your outlook for spring practice?

A: I won't be ready for spring.

Q: What's something people don't know about you?

A: I love to play video games. I love video games.

Q: Do you have any ties to Florida?

A: No, I have tons of ties to South Carolina but I really have none to Florida.

Q: You grew up in Virginia in ACC country. Did you watch a lot of SEC football growing up?

A: Oh yeah, I grew up a South Carolina fan because my granddad [Bill Rolin] played there and my parents all went there. Now I'm a Florida fan.

Q: What improvements can you make so that when you do get healthy you will be ready?

A: Right now I'm working on putting my weight back on. I've dropped a lot of weight. The goal for me is to get back in there and get some reps if my knee is OK to go. If it's not, the coaches have said they will redshirt me if the knee is not ready to go. It really depends on how the knee is doing.

Q: What's your next step in that process?

A: I'm going to put my weight back on by June. I'll be back up to 230. So I'll be fine.

 

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