Ray Polk Interview
Sr / Safety / Colorado

Updated - 4-24-13

By: Alex Khvatov


Alex Khvatov:  What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)?

Ray Polk:  Height is 6’1, weight is about 210 right now.  I am hoping to get to 215 or 220.  I am looking at a 4.4 forty. 


Alex Khvatov:  You were recruited as a RB out of high school, what programs showed interest in you?

Ray Polk:  I had about 20 offers.  It came down to Colorado, ASU, Arizona and Michigan.  Everyone that I was interested in was looking at me as a RB.  USC and UCLA asked me if I would be willing to make the switch to DB.  I told them that I wanted to pursue my career as a RB.  It is funny looking back at it now.  I ended up making the switch anyway.      


Alex Khvatov:  What made you choose Colorado?

Ray Polk:  I felt like it was the right place to start something fresh.  I had offers to other programs that were actually successful.  Colorado is a school that had a lot of tradition and a lot of history behind it, but has had some tough times.  I wanted to go to a program that I can call my own and with my teammates, we can push forward and refurbish the program.


Alex Khvatov:  Describe your career at Colorado. 

Ray Polk:  The career was good.  It has been a roller coaster for the most part.  There have been ups and downs.  But it is more the journey than the end result.  I grew a lot during my career at Colorado.  I am thankful for even the hard times.  It showed me a way how to push through adversity.  It is something that I haven’t dealt with before. 


Alex Khvatov:  Your team won only one game during your senior campaign.  You also missed half of the season with an injury, how difficult was it to deal with those circumstances?

Ray Polk:  Honestly, it was really hard.  I have never had any serious problems with my ankles before.  On a day to day basis, you feel good walking around.  But when you start to run, you begin to feel the pain.  It is probably one of the most frustrating things that I had to deal with.  Your mobility is absolutely depreciated.  It is definitely a growing and learning experience.  But it was frustrating to be sidelined for six or seven games.  You also never expect for your team to win only one game.  This is how life goes.  I am thankful for it.  It is has taught me a lot about myself and the game in general.


Alex Khvatov:  What is the highlight of your career up to this point?        

Ray Polk:  The highlight of my career was my junior year.  I suffered through some injuries.  I had a cracked sternum and a wrist that had two torn ligaments.  It is one of those moments where you see what you are made of.  You go out every day in practice and execute your job on Saturdays.  I fell in love with the feeling of being sore.  I was playing through significant injuries, but they didn’t limit me the way the ankle did this past year. 


Alex Khvatov:  You have dealt with a lot of injuries throughout your career, how have you stayed so positive and upbeat?   

Ray Polk:  Honestly, I welcome the nicks and bruises.  I think that it builds character and what you can push through.  On top of that, I know that I am playing the best game in the world.  I am very fortunate to have played this game this long.  I am very fortunate to be taking the next step towards the NFL. 


Alex Khvatov:  Your dad played in the NFL very briefly, what advice has he given you about the next level?

Ray Polk:  He has talked to me about it.  He told me that it all comes down to the work and the time you put in.  If you outwork them and keep a good head on your shoulders, then you got a hell of a shot.  The mental aspect of the game is increasingly important.  You have to understand the way the game is played.  You have to understand the ins and outs of offenses and defenses. 


Alex Khvatov:  What are your strengths?

Ray Polk:  My strengths on the football field would be my great speed.  I am really mobile around the football field.  I like to hit.  I love the contact.  I watch tape constantly.  I will put in the work and learn to understand the game.  The sky is the limit as far as I can take it.  My hard work will take me there. 


Alex Khvatov:  What areas of your game do you need to improve upon?

Ray Polk:  Everything.  There is no limit to any specific area of the game.  Every area can be boosted.  I am talking about the mental aspect as well as the physical one.  I am still relatively young at this position.  The more you can learn, the better you would become. 


Alex Khvatov:  What separates you from all of the other players at your position? 

Ray Polk:  I would say how hard I work.  I really have a love, care and interest for this game.  Everyone has speed at the next level.  Everyone hits hard at the next level.  I think that I have lots to improve on.  I am humbled by it.  When you get to the next level, what separates you is how hard you work. 


Alex Khvatov:  Who is the best player that you have faced over your career?    

Ray Polk:  I would probably say (Ryan) Broyles from Oklahoma in terms of receiver.  He had the knowledge of the game as well as the physical aspects.  He was great at executing his coach’s game plan.  I think that he will be a great player at the next level.  In terms of quarterback, Andrew Luck was a very good.  He knew where the holes in the defense were.  He executed the offense beautifully. 


Alex Khvatov:  What is your favorite NFL team? 

Ray Polk:  Any team that ends up taking a shot on me.  I never really followed a specific NFL team.  I watch football, but I don’t do it in the same way like I used to as a kid.  I analyze the game.  I have a habit of rooting for the underdog. 


Alex Khvatov:  Who is your favorite NFL player? 

Ray Polk:  There are a few of them.  Most of them are safeties.  Ed Reed is a huge figure.  I saw Ed Reed on film, and he knew the check downs.  He knew where the other team would be checking down to before the ball was snapped.  Things like that inspire me to be a better player and learn the game even more.  Troy Polamalu is another great player that I look up to.     


Alex Khvatov:  Which underclassman on your team should we keep an eye on in the future? 

Ray Polk:  One guy that has a bright future is Chidera Uzo-Diribe.  He is unbelievably gifted athletically.  He is a defensive end.  He has amazing talent.  On top of that, he is a humble guy.  He works hard every day.  He wants to become a better player and improve upon what he does every day. 


Alex Khvatov:  What did you enjoy the most about college football?

Ray Polk:  There is no game like college football.  You get to go out there with all of your brothers.  You get to represent your school and your parents every Saturday.  You get to represent everything that you stand for.  It is an amazing experience.  I had some of the best times of my life here at Colorado.


Alex Khvatov:  What is your definition of a leader?    

Ray Polk:  My definition of a leader would be somebody who makes a firm decision about what they want and sticks to it.  A leader isn’t scared and hesitant to voice their opinion.  He knows what’s best for the team and the players.  Other players depend on him, and he depends on them.


Alex Khvatov:  What are your hobbies? 

Ray Polk:  When I am not playing football, I am just a normal guy.  I don’t really have any crazy hobbies.  I go to movies and play video games.  Most of the time, I just watch film.  It is pretty simple what makes me really tick.  Football has been my life since I have been seven or eight years old.  It continues to be a big part of my life. 


Alex Khvatov:  I read in your bio that you help kids around the community.  Tell me about it.

Ray Polk:  I do.  Community service is something that I have been really passionate about.  I want to do even more within a community.  I put in about 70 hours at an Upward foundation.  It helps mentally disabled kids.  Kids like my younger brother are in need of a nurse throughout the day.  I actually help those kids.  I look to do more around hospitals.  I want to help kids and help the community grow.  It is very important because none of us got here on our own.  We were all helped by somebody.  There are a lot of people and kids who are in need of some type of help. 


Alex Khvatov:  What are your goals for the future? 

Ray Polk:  I hope for the best.  I hope that I have a shot to play at the next level.  I look to make the most of that shot.  I want to stay in the league for as long as I can.  I would also like to get involved more with helping a community.  I want to give back to society in general.  We will see where the future takes me after that.


Alex Khvatov:  Finish the sentence, Ray Polk is…. 

Ray Polk:  He is a good guy.  I think that it is important to become a good member of society.  I think that people get caught up too much in individual fame and things that are materialistic.  I am very simple with what I do on a day to day basis.  I put in the work that I need to put in.  I do what I love. 


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