As I wrote at the time, Chris Polk left Washington about as quickly as he often ran through defenses, the announcement that he was leaving arriving early on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 2, barely three days after he played his final game for the Huskies.
He didn’t do any interviews on his way out of town, so local reporters didn’t get to ask him about his decision.
His most interesting response (about 1:50 in) comes when he is asked about the fact that he was technically a senior this year, having never received a redshirt season for 2008 when he played just two games before being injured — the school had always listed him as having received the year. That he didn’t technically get the redshirt year has allowed him to be able to play in the Senior Bowl.
Polk says in the interview that it was always part of the plan not to receive the official redshirt.
“I knew I was leaving this year,” Polk said. “I didn’t want them to turn in the paper work.”
If he really was always planning to leave, Polk kept up a good front throughout the 2011 season, insisting in interviews up until two days prior to the Alamo Bowl that he hadn’t decided and would have to sit down with UW coaches and family and make his decision.
Of course, maybe what he said is to be expected, so as not to detract from the team’s season. It also may serve as more proof that guys who seem most likely to leave usually are thinking in that direction no matter what they say during the season. (And there is some precedent for declaring your intention early, such as the case of Andrew Luck, who said at Pac-12 Media Day in July this would be his last year, basically putting all questions to rest then. Obviously, though, that’s easier for a guy in Luck’s position to say than Polk’s).
I’ve been told the fact that Polk didn’t receive the redshirt year is mostly a technicality and doesn’t mean he couldn’t have returned — because Polk fit every requirement for receiving a redshirt there apparently was no doubting among anyone at UW that he would have gotten it, so if he had decided to stay it would have been a simple matter of putting in the paper work.
And it’s often the case that redshirt years are not applied for until they are needed. Obviously, the school felt confident he was going to get it by always listing him as having received it, from 2009 on. And Polk didn’t appear to ever participate in any senior-type activities this season.
Not that it matters much now. But it’s interesting to hear his side of it in his first statements since leaving UW. You can see the full interview below as he also talks about his career at UW, what he hopes to accomplish at the Senior Bowl, and more:
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IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Scout.com also has an interview with Polk, though it’s a premium item. Most interesting moment in that one is Polk responding to a question about the fact that some say he lacks high-end speed. “No one thinks that I’m fast,” he says. “That’s crazy.”
— Former UW DB coach Jimmy Lake was hired today at Boise State.
— I confirmed with Lakes coach Dave Miller that OT Zach Banner has decided to avoid all interviews until he makes his official announcement on Monday. He also has decided not to bother with in-home visits from coaches — all three of his final school were expected to make visits this week. Miller said “the family has all the information they need” and has decided “to hunker down and make a decision.”
— UW fans may not care anymore about Cedric Dozier, but I asked Miller about reports that Dozier has re-committed to Cal. He said it’s more accurate that Dozier never really de-committed, but did decide to explore some options just in case after his position coach at Cal, Eric Kiesau, came to UW. He said WSU is the only other school Dozier has really considered and confirmed that UW told Dozier it would not recruit him as a receiver, the position Dozier wants to play. WSU coach Mike Leach is expected to attend Lakes High’s basketball game tonight and have an in-home with Dozier.
— The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says Shane Brostek and Psalm Wooching will visit the University of Hawaii this weekend.