Polk on cusp of being best Huskies RB ever

A large image of Washington running back Chris Polk is on

display just outside the Husky Hall of Fame in Hec Edmundson


It seems inevitable that picture will be moved behind the glass

doors of the Hall of Fame after Polk leaves. Just when Polk, a

redshirt junior, exits is one of two pressing questions surrounding

him. The other is whether he will topple Napoleon Kaufman’s school

rushing record of 4,106 yards before departing.

The answer to each is unclear as he heads home to Southern

California this weekend for perhaps the final time as a Husky when

Washington faces 18th-ranked USC.

Sitting with his shin wrapped in ice following a record-setting

performance against Arizona two weeks ago, Polk had plenty to talk


He gave much credit for his five touchdowns to the offensive

line. He referenced his high school receiving skills when

explaining how he became the first Husky with 100 yards rushing and

receiving in one game.

Oh, and it came as he scored five total touchdowns that night in

Washington’s 42-31 win over the Wildcats.

”It doesn’t mean nothing if it doesn’t come with a win,” Polk

said after the win. ”I really didn’t even know I scored that much

or that I did all those things today, but you know the win, that

means the most to me.”

Also high on the priority list is chasing down Kaufman’s record,

set from 1991-94. Whether Polk does will have influence on his

decision to declare for the NFL draft or return to Washington in


Polk has been surging since 2009.

After gaining 1,113 yards rushing that year, Polk powered for

1,415 more in 2010.

During the three consecutive wins to close last season, he

averaged 24 carries and 146 yards. He scored the game-winning

touchdown against California as time expired. His 284 yards rushing

in the Apple Cup were the second-highest total in school history;

Hugh McElhenny ran for 296 yards in 1950 against Washington


Polk labeled last season’s Apple Cup his prime outing.

”Not only because the rushing yards, but being that the whole

situation that we needed to win that game to go to a bowl game,”

Polk said. ”Plus it was Apple Cup in their house and last time we

were down there we lost. That was my No. 1 game.”

Polk has 3,657 yards rushing in his career with four games left

this season. He’s averaging 122 yards rushing per game this season.

Maintaining that average would push him to 4,145 career yards

rushing and past Kaufman by season’s end.

He and Kaufman are the only Washington backs to rush for more

than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.

Polk shunned the draft last season when he was projected as high

as a second-round pick.

After such accomplishments by the end of this year, he’s surely

leaving, right?

”I really haven’t even thought about that yet,” Polk said.

”It’s going to be a tough decision come the end of the season. But

I’m just going to keep playing like I want to play, just keep doing

what’s best for our team.”