Against the advice of his prep football coach in Shreveport, Louisiana, Robert Rochell was determined to pursue his hoop ambitions.
Unfortunately, just as recruiting interest was starting to pick up on the gridiron, an early-season injury on the hardwood scared away potential scholarship offers.
"A couple games into the (basketball) season, a guy came down on my knee… partially tore my patellar tendon," Rochell told us on this week's Rams Revealed podcast. "A lot of schools backed off."
"My college dreams right then – my football dreams, in general, as an athlete – (were) over."
However, a day before signing day, Central Arkansas called to take a chance on the hyper-athletic prospect. Rochell had played extensively on offense as a receiver and running back. But once he got to campus in Conway, Arkansas, the FCS-level Bears set him on a different course – one that would eventually lead to the NFL.
"My coach pulled me to the side. He was like, 'If you want to make money playing this sport, you need to play (defensive back).'
"I looked at my mom. I said, 'Okay. Let's do it.' I changed my position right there. Six years later, I'm here now."
Rochell and the Rams are regrouping after a disappointing defeat in Green Bay, but the rookie corner had one of the highlights and continues to put his ball skills to work. He recovered a muffed punt in the second quarter, downed another Johnny Hekker gem at the six-yard line, and he continues to fortify and learn from a position group led by starters Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams.
For more on his backstory, including what it meant to have his mother travel to the Meadowlands to see him collect his first professional interception, click in to this week's Rams Revealed on YouTube or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
We also discussed his nickname "Scoota" and taking another UCA legend, Scottie Pippen, one-on-one.
For the first time in a month, Rochell and the Rams are back at SoFi Stadium this Sunday to host the Jacksonville Jaguars. Click here for tickets to join us in the Rams House.