BY SPNW Staff 12:48PM 01/02/2012

Huskies’ Polk declares for NFL draft

As expected, Washington’s No. 2 all-time rusher, who has his degree, will leave a year early to turn pro.

Huskies running back Chris Polk is saying goodbye to college and heading for the NFL. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

To the surprise of almost no one, Washington tailback Chris Polk, the second-leading rusher in Husky history, is going pro.

In a press release this morning, coach Steve Sarkisian said, “Chris had a terrific career at Washington and deserves the opportunity to move on to the next level. We wish him nothing but the best in what I’m sure will be a great professional career.”

Polk, a fourth-year junior from Redlands, CA., earned his bachelor’s degree in American ethnic studies. Before the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, he said that he was 50-50 about his decision. He was awaiting his evaluation provided by NFL personnel on his draft prospects, so the news was obviously positive.

Speculation was that Sarkisian hoped to keep Polk for another year by unveiling a potent bowl-game offense behind a healthy quarterback, Keith Price, that would remain largely intact for 2012. The Huskies scored 56 points and piled up 620 yards, including 147 on the ground by Polk.

But it was no match for for the riches awaiting him in the NFL where the early speculation has him no worse than a second- or third-round selection.

A three-time offensive MVP, Polk is one of only two Huskies to rush for 1,000 yards in three seasons. His 2011 total of 1,488 yards ranked second in school history, just ahead of his 2010 total of 1,415 yards, now third-best. As a redshirt freshman in 2009, he ran for 1,113 yards.

Polk leaves Washington with 4,049 yards on 799 carries in 40 games. He is one of only seven 4,000-yard rushers in Pac-12 history. Polk’s total is 57 yards short of Napoleon Kaufman’s school record (4,106). His 799 career carries were a school record, as was his career average of 101.2 yards per game and his 21 career 100-yard games.

Polk earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2011 as he led the Huskies to a second consecutive bowl berth.

It was also announced Monday that Polk will join defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu and offensive tackle Senio Kelemete at the Senior Bowl all-star game in Mobile, AL.


YourThoughts

  • Ubud

    REALLY sad to see Chris Polk leave.
    I loved watching him play football.
    No nonsense North South put your head down and watch out.
    Great Husky, I’m going to miss him.

    Ubud

  • Ubud

    REALLY sad to see Chris Polk leave.
    I loved watching him play football.
    No nonsense North South put your head down and watch out.
    Great Husky, I’m going to miss him.

    Ubud

  • SUDS

    “…away goals count double in CCL play…”

    Soccer/football never ceases to baffle me.

  • RadioGuy

    No worse than having an All-Star Game determine who gets the seventh game in the World Series or the NHL’s points system regarding overtime wins and losses.

    Fortunately, this one doesn’t count in MLS (although it had to leave an impression elsewhere), but I’m a little concerned over those six goals allowed. Some of those Santos goals came off total defensive breakdowns in front of the Seattle goal. That is not a good thing. The competition will get easier once MLS gets going, but the Sounders HAVE to tighten it up.

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