Saturday, April 28, 2012

Huskies Polk and Kearse go undrafted

By Kshell

The big surprised on Montlake was the fact that Chris Polk who graded out to be a second or third round pick went undrafted. Another Washington Huskies player in Jermaine Kearse went undrafted as well. For Polk and Kearse both record setters at Washington this was tough to see. Both were brought in during Tyrone Willingham's last recruiting class which was ranked 14th in the nation. Both guys were part of the turnaround of Husky football leading them to back to back bowl games. Both running back Polk and wide receiver Kearse were signed immediately. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Polk while the hometown Seattle Seahawks signed Jermaine Kearse. Kearse most figured would go undrafted after a disappointing senior season while Polk was a huge shocker. Polk left after his junior year and apparantly teams were concerned with his injuries which is why he was undrafted. Still despite what the combines say the eye test has to show that Polk is a performer on the field. Polk can flat out get the job done when the Huskies needed him to the past three seasons as well as Kearse.

For Polk he is going to a good situation with the Eagles who were impressed with him during the draft process. Although Polk has had three surguries already in his career he has yet to miss a game the last three seasons. After getting hurt his true freshman year Polk as a redshirt freshman in 2009 rushed for 1,113 yards with five touchdowns. In 2010 Polk ran for 1,465 yards with nine touchdowns. He was also named Holiday Bowl MVP as the Huskies upset the Nebraska Cornhuskers 19-7. As a senior Polk ran for 1,488 yards(5.1 YPC) with 12 touchdowns. He also caught 31 passes for 332 yards with four touchdowns. For his Husky career he finished with 4,049 yards rushing(5.1 YPC) with 26 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 79 passes for for 683 yards with four touchdowns all in just 40 career games meaning he averaged over 100 yards rushing per game in his career.  Polk will leave behind a strong legacy as he and Kaufman are the only backs to ever rush for over 1,000 yards three straight seasons. Polk was first-team all freshman selection and honorable mention all Pac-10 in 2009, second team all pac-10 in 2010 and the first Husky offensive player to be on the first team all Pac-12 team since Reggie Williams in 2003 when he was selected in 2011. The Eagles are going to be getting a very fine player in Polk who has a major chip on his shoulder much like Arian Foster did.

The Seattle Seahawks signed the former Husky standout wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. Kearse was a big play receiver for the Huskies and Jake Locker's favorite target in 2009 and 2010. Kearse  as a true freshman, caught 20 passes for 301 yards (15.0 YPC) and two touchdowns. As a sophomore, he broke out with 50 receptions for 866 yards(17.3 YPC) with eight touchdowns. Then as a junior he continued his improvement with 63 receptions for 1,005 yards(16.0 YPC) with 12 touchdowns. He was  named to the second team all Pac-10 team those two years. He had plenty of big games his junior year in the Huskies 41-20 win over Syracuse, Kearse had nine receptions for 179 yards with three touchdowns. Later in the year, he set a Huskies record against Oregon State, catching four touchdown passes in the 35-34 double-overtime win. He had nine receptions for 146 yards with four touchdowns that game. Then in the Apple Cup he had six receptions for 178 yards with two touchdowns, including the game winning touchdown. As a senior with more talented receivers in the fold and a new quarterback in Keith Price his production fell off. Kearse finished the year with 47 receptions for 699 yards and seven touchdowns. He was named honorable mention all Pac-12 but a memorable game in his final game. In the 67-56 Alamo Bowl loss Kearse caught five passes for 198 yards with a touchdown which was an 80 yard bomb.  Kearse has big play ability and is hoping to pull a Doug Baldwin and make the Seahawks roster.

For these two the news of not getting picked had to be a disappointment as they left behind a legacy at the University of Washington. I think Polk will make the Eagles roster and actually become a key member on a very talented team. For Kearse his odds are long but the Seahawks receivers aren't exactly studs either. Last year Doug Baldwin who put up less numbers than Kearse did in college made the Seahawks roster as an undrafted rookie. Hopefully both Kearse and Polk make an impact on their teams. Either way they were both great Huskies and their names are at the top of the record books for a reason. They were a big reason why the Huskies went from 0-12 to back to back bowl appearances.

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