Keeping up with the Carrolls

Nolan Carroll was a star defensive back for the University of Maryland until last September, when his college football came to an end due to a horrific leg injury. Following the insertion of a metal rod into his leg, Carroll began a lenghy rehabilitation process, which caused him to miss last winter’s NFL combine where college players try to impress pro scouts. But Carroll impressed the Miami Dolphins during an interview session at the team’s facility. That, plus his performance prior to the injury and a 4.41 40-yard dash time during a workout, caused the Dolphins to draft him in the fifth round.
Yesterday, Carroll survived Miami’s final player cuts to win a job in the NFL. He is expected to handle kick-off returns and to play in “nickel” packages (in which the defense uses five defensive backs).
This fall, Carroll’s mother, Jennifer Carroll, will also be trying to win a high profile job in Florida. She is the Republican party’s nominee for Lt. Governor of the state. Carroll served in the U.S. Navy as a jet mechanic until 1999. Four years later, she became the first African-American female Republican elected to the Florida state legislature.
Jennifer Carroll and her husband, a former master sergeant in the Air Force, clearly raised their son the right way. For example, they did not permit him to play football his freshman year in high school because his grades didn’t meet their expectations. No wonder he was able to come all the way back from his injury. And no wonder he made such a positive impression on Miami coach Tony Sparano and his staff during his interview.
I’ll try to keep an eye on both Nolan Carroll’s football career and his mother’s career in politics.

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