Humbled and motivated, University of Washington running back Chris Polk arrived at the NFL Scouting Combine nearly 10 pounds lighter and ready to impress.
But that wasn’t the case a month ago at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Polk, who still had a year left of eligibility for the Huskies, received a late-invite to the game and showed up a bloated 224 pounds on his 5-foot-11 frame.
“I didn’t like the way my body looked,” Polk said. “I was flexing and not too many muscles were showing, and I would definitely say that the Senior Bowl weigh-in was definitely a wake-up call.
“Because I’m walking down the middle and I’m seeing no one’s turning their heads. So I’m like ‘Yeah, something’s wrong here.’ I just wanted to lose weight for me as a personal thing to show these GM’s and coaches that I am dedicated and I do care.”
Polk trained at Athletes’ Performance in Los Angeles for the past month, and slimmed down to 214 pounds for the weigh-in at the combine.
Polk says he plans on running in the 4.4 second-range in the 40-yard dash when running backs take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium today.
NFL scouts know from watching his game tape that Polk is a hard-nosed runner who can carry the load, and he is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Now they just want to see a more consistent effort, and that he’s dedicated to football.
“I’m versatile,” Polk said. “I can do it all. I can run, block, catch – all of that. It’s just a matter of me executing my technique rather than relying on just the physical abilities and just staying mentally attuned to my technique and staying fundamentally sound.”
Polk’s dealt with his share of nagging injuries during his college career. But he proved durable, playing his last three years at Washington without missing a game after injuring his shoulder two games into his freshman season and missing the rest of the year.
Polk went through an extensive medical check in Indianapolis that included three magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures in one day – on both knees and a shoulder.
“It was kind of crazy because I felt like a big slab of meat,” Polk said. “I’m the only guy in there where the X-ray pack is like this thick. The first time I put it in their hands they were like, ‘Oh, my goodness.’”
Polk had to redo two MRIs the next day because he fell asleep. Polk said he had a dream during the MRI that he was running the 40-yard dash which resulted in Polk kicking the top of the machine in his sleep.
“My 40 start was good,” joked Polk. “But it wasn’t reality.”
Polk also will participate in Washington’s pro day on March 8.
Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler measured an inch shorter than his listed 6-8 height, coming in a shade under 6-7 and 240 pounds.
Osweiler said the Seahawks are one of five teams he met with Friday as Seattle continues its search for a developmental quarterback. The others were Kansas City, Buffalo, Philadelphia and Washington.
Some draft analysts had concerns about Osweiler’s mobility because of his height, comparing him to former Seattle Seahawks quarterback and first-round disappointment Dan McGwire.
But Osweiler said he can move pretty well for a big guy, and he would be a good fit for Seattle’s offense.