Former Husky running back Chris Polk was surprisingly part of the Senior Bowl this year after it came out that he never, in fact, applied for a medical redshirt season in 2008 and was a senior all along. This came as a surprise to many and in interviews during the Senior Bowl Week, he raised a few eyebrows about how that all came about.
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.
Polk had a fantastic career nonetheless and has been graded anywhere from the late first round to the third by analysts and scouts. Apparently though, Polk continued to raise a few eyebrows that week with strange interviews, less than stellar shape, and poor fundamentals.
Respected draft analyst Tony Pauline had this to say about Polk's week. It's kind of shocking, frankly.
Chris Polk may have been better off applying for a red-shirt season and returning to school as the former Washington running back is taking a tumble down draft boards. Scouts were less than impressed by his ball carrying skills during Senior Bowl practices. Polk looked very straight-linish and upright taking hand-offs, displaying no ability to create yardage.
Worse yet we've been told by several sources his interviews during the week were awful. Scouts were caught off guard by many of the responses Polk gave to questions posed. The answers to follow-up questions were just as worrisome for scouts who completed interviews. Polk is now being graded as a last day pick by a number of teams.
Now, obviously, this is a bit of rumor and it's unclear whether these are scouts or front office personnel doing the worrying, or both. It can mean a lot or it can mean nothing. For instance, I know that the Seahawks general manager John Schneider has gone on record saying that these all-star games and bowl weeks can only help a player, not hurt him, and Chris Polk's record as a Husky certainly speaks for itself. Having watched him the past few seasons, I'm definitely not going to be writing him off and there is a lot of time for him to clear anything up between now and the Draft.
Still, pretty interesting comments from a guy that's pretty well-connected.