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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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August 5, 2008 6:03 PM

Polk still finding his way

Posted by Bob Condotta

I talked with a recruiting expert last winter after Chris Polk signed with UW and when I told him it sounded as if the Huskies planned to play Polk at receiver, the guy responded that he thought the Washington coaches were missing the boat.

Polk, the guy said, was the best high school running back on the West Coast last year.

Maybe Polk will end up there yet.

I actually had to miss the 25 minutes of open practice today for personal reasons, but I'm told Polk was again lined up at tailback in what could be about a 10-day tryout or so to see what his best position may be.

Polk isn't alone in that situation, said UW coach Tyrone Willingham.

"Our football staff will determine those roles for not only Chris Polk but the other guys on our team as we move forward that best allows them to have the most impact on the game and positively affect our football team,'' Willingham said. "We'll go through that process the next week-and-a-half with not just Chris Polk but other guys also.''

Polk, however, will be one of the most interesting to watch, gaining a lot of notice last winter after he initially committed to USC, then changed his mind, in part due to the prospect of immediate playing time at UW.

Polk said before practice today he doesn't consider this a permanent move just yet. "They just want me to play a little more running back and get used to it, get ready for it,'' he said.

Polk added that UW coaches told him heading into the summer to plan for more time at running back in camp and that he spent a lot of his time in voluntary drills this summer working out of the backfield.

He makes it sound like that's where he'd rather be, as well.

"I'll do receiver, but I'm more comfortable at running back,'' said Polk, who rushed for 2,561 yards last season at Redlands (Calif.) East Valley High. "I only played receiver two years in my whole life, so I'm more comfortable at running back. But I'll play wherever I'm needed.''

He also sounds as if he's better built to handle the punishment at running back now, as well. Listed at 5-11, 200 pounds, he said he now weighs 210 pounds.

He said he hit the weights with a vengeance this summer after learning a valuable lesson during spring ball --- he participated after graduating early from high school.

"I'm not the fastest person on the field anymore,'' he said. "I just can't outrun people like I did.''

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