Visited with Chris Polk after practice. He was held out of the live stuff at the end of practice. I wondered if it was an injury, but Sarkisian said it is their intent to save him some hits in April. After all, they know what he can do in live situations.
Polk explained that he's 218 at this point, down from 227 at the end of the season. He said he's quicker, and he didn't really like the way he was moving at the end of last season. Huh? He rushed for 284 yards against the Cougars and 177 against Nebraska. He said he's hoping to start off next season the way he finished last season.
He talked about former Seahawk Shaun Alexander visiting with the running backs after practice on Tuesday. “He just told us to come out every day and concentrate on everything you need to work on and never take a day off,” Polk said. “Basically, it was to perfect your craft.”
That’s exactly what Polk has in mind for this spring. In addition to trying to develop more speed, Polk said he’s focused on his pass protection and his receiving skills, too.
I wondered if Polk thought he received less national attention than he might deserve, considering his back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard rushing seasons. He said he's fine with it.
“I hope I’m under the radar,” Polk said. “I’m the real quiet guy; I’m the guy who wants to speak with his play rather than his mouth. I’m just here to play and win and get our team back to the top and get back to that tradition of winning we’ve had.”
--Sarkisian showed up for a Communications 202 class Thursday morning. He said that he tries to show up – unannounced – for a class at least once a week. Players never know when he might be there to check on them. “I think it’s important to have a presence on upper campus,” he said. “Not only for our players, but for our student body to know that we’re student-athletes and not just football players.”
He said he sneaks in initially, to try to observe players in their natural habitat, but then he’s not unhappy at all if the players pass the word around campus that he’s auditing classes.
--The Huskies practiced a number of special situations Thursday: No-huddle offense, Red Zone, third-downs, sudden-change after turnovers. “I thought all in all it was a really good practice – our most physical one yet,” Sarkisian said.
--Freshman tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who missed part of Tuesday’s practice with a quadriceps injury, was a full participant Thursday. “For a kid whose been in school a week and a half now, with all the things going on, he’s really handling it with a sense of maturity,” Sarkisian said. “We appreciate the effort he gives; he’s a real try-hard guy.”
--The Huskies are scheduled to practice Saturday at Husky Stadium with part of the workout consisting of a scrimmage.