Polk sure hes Pac-10 material
Prep Focus • Lincoln senior says he's not too small to succeed with Huskies
He signed on with the Washington Huskies, but Lincoln High's Jordan Polk took something out of watching the Oregon Ducks.
A little guy can play Pac-10 football, as evidenced by 5-10 Aaron Pflugrad earning a starting wide receiver job with Oregon last season.
'It was the same thing with him: Everybody says he couldn't do it,' says Polk, who is training for track and field these days. 'He surprised a lot of people, caught balls in the middle of the field and got down. … When you're my height, you're not going to get that many big hits. You duck.'
Polk will be one of the fastest prep sprinters in the state this spring, and then he'll step up to the next level to play college football at Washington. He'll attend some UW spring practices, get his playbook and some videos to study and then move to Seattle on July 6.
Polk, listed at 5-8, says he exited last football season at 159 pounds and has bulked up to 165. He has been doing upper-body work in the weight room to get stronger. His lower body, with his speed, doesn't need much work at the moment.
'I see a difference when I run out here,' he says, standing on Lincoln's track. 'I feel easy and strong. I think I can surprise some people and get down to 10.5.'
He means 10.5 seconds in the 100 meters. Last year, Polk placed second to Ryan Bailey of McKay in the Class 6A 100 in 10.8. He also finished fifth in the 200 in 22.02; Polk guesses he could get down to about 21.6 this year.
He has won the PIL 100 the past two seasons and placed second (to teammate King Hearvy) in the 200 last year and won the event the year before. Polk also does the long jump and runs on relays.
The Cardinals will try to defend their 6A team title, although only Polk and runner Nathan Mathabane appear sure to score points at state.
Polk has been getting up at 4 a.m. on Saturdays to work out, not to mention doing some sort of training every day.
'I'm just worrying about working hard, and working out makes me feel good,' he says. 'I've got to keep the work ethic because, when I get to the next level, it's going to be the same.'
Meanwhile, he will enjoy every minute of his remaining high school days.
'You kind of cherish these moments,' he says.
The Huskies have brought in a bunch of receiver candidates, but Polk says he could challenge to play this season - and, of course, he has his eyes on the Washington-Oregon game Aug. 30 at Autzen Stadium. He accomplished some great things at Lincoln, helping the Cardinals make the state championship game as a sophomore, and then combining for 118 receptions, 2,644 yards and 37 TDs the past two seasons.
He has been accepted at Washington. Now he just has to prove himself on the field.
'A lot of people say I'm not going to make it because of my size,' he says. 'I use it as fuel. Coach (Tyrone) Willingham wouldn't have gotten me if he didn't believe in me.'