Polk tied for 40th all-time at Colorado with 237 tackles (153 solo).
One of four team captains, he played in seven games (all starts), missing five games with a severe high ankle sprain he suffered in the first half of the season opener against Colorado State; he never really was at 100 percent after he did return but wanted to contribute in his senior season. In 332 plays of action, he was in on 45 tackles for the year (28 solo), with two for losses and one for zero for a total of three at our behind the line of scrimmage. He also had three touchdown saves, a third down stop and a pass deflection.
He had a season-high 10 tackles in the finale against Utah (seven solo including a TFL), and had at least five tackles in each of the last six games of the season after returning from his injury. On special teams, he added two solo tackles, one inside-the-20, a knockdown blocked and a forced fair catch in addition to returning kickoffs for the first time in his career (he had five for 82 yards, or 16.4 per with a long of 26). He was fully healed from off-season wrist surgery which caused him to participate in the spring on a limited basis (he suffered the injury in winter conditioning). Phil Steele's College Football and collegefootballmadness.com selected him to its third-team preseason All-Pac 12 team. Steele also ranked him as the No. 14 free safety in the nation.
Started 11 games, all he played in as he missed the Oregon and USC games due to concussion symptoms, but still played 675 total snaps from scrimmage. He earned third-team All-Colorado honors from the state's chapter of the National Football Foundation as he tied for second on the team in tackles with 80; he led the Buffs in solo stops with 59. He was first in touchdown saves (8), second in pass deflections (6), and also had five third down stops and a forced fumble, the latter at Utah in the season finale at an important juncture: it came at midfield to thwart a Ute drive with less than five minutes left in CU's 17-14 win, which ended a 23-game road losing streak. Against Washington State, he made his first career interception, returning it 52 yards. He racked up eight special team points on the season (five tackles, four solo and one inside-the-20; a forced fair catch and a first downfield credit that altered a return). He had a career-high 17 tackles at Stanford, which included 11 unassisted, with eight tackles (all solo) versus California, seven on three occasions (Hawaii, Arizona, UCLA) and six three other times, including all of the solo variety at Utah.
He started all 12 games at free safety and played the second-most snaps from scrimmage by any defensive player (787, 12 fewer than Jalil Brown); that total was also the fifth highest on the team. He finished second on the team in tackles with 72, which included 42 solo. He had four third down stops, three touchdown saves, one tackle for zero (at Nebraska), one pass deflection (at Kansas) and one quarterback pressure. He had between five and eight tackles in a game 10 times, with season-highs of eight all in a row against Texas Tech (five solo), Oklahoma (four) and Kansas (three). He had five unassisted tackles on four occasions. He shared the team's Defensive Player of the Week nod for the Hawai'i game, when he racked up six tackles (five solo). On special teams coverage units, he earned eight points, as he was in one tackle (it was inside-the-20), with two forced fair catches on punts, two first downfield credits to alter return paths, a fumble recovery (which was against Iowa State) and a downed punt.
He played in 11 games, 10 on defense, with three starts (Colorado State, Kansas State, Missouri); he missed the Iowa State game with a broken bone in his pinkie toe after he dropped a piece of furniture on his foot. He was in for 283 snaps from scrimmage, recording 40 tackles (24 solo, one for a loss), along with three quarterback hurries, two third down stops and two touchdown saves. He had a career-high 15 tackles (9 solo) at Kansas State, with nine the following game against Missouri. He racked up 10 special team points, tied for seventh-most on the team, on the strength of four tackles (three solo, one inside-the-20), two wedge breaks, a knockdown block, a forced fair catch and a caused penalty. He was a recipient of the Gold Group Commitment Award, selected by the CU coaches, which recognizes excellence with class in a variety of areas. He had limited work in the spring as he completed rehabilitation from shoulder surgery. He approached then-CU secondary coach Greg Brown on signing day in February, asking to be switched to defense.
Redshirted; he practiced as a tailback the first three months of the season but caught the eye of all the coaches with what he did on the scout team and on special teams. He was the Scout Team Offensive player of the week for the Iowa State game. Since he was redshirting, he took the opportunity to mend a shoulder subluxation with surgery on October 28.
As a senior, he earned All-America honors from PrepStar and SuperPrep; the latter ranked him as the No. 4 overall player in Arizona (the second running back). Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 3 prospect out of Arizona and the No. 11 running back in the nation, while Scout.com tabbed him as the No. 10 state of Arizona product and the No. 43 running back in the country. The Tacoma News-Tribune named him to its Western 100 team (one of 14 running backs). A three-year letterman, he was a team captain during his senior season in which he gained 1,098 yards on the ground with 12 touchdowns in a balanced run-pass attack. He also filled in occasionally at cornerback, registering eight tackles, as he was called upon to fill in for the state semifinal and title game in the role. As a junior, he was a first-team All-State selection, as he rushed for 1,423 yards and 22 touchdowns; he played strictly cornerback as a sophomore. Top games included his sophomore season against Hamilton, as in a 15-14 win he made six tackles to go with an interception and a fumble recovery; as a junior, rushed for 220 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Westwood; in his senior season, he rushed for 212 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Mesa. Under head coach Scooter Molander, the former Colorado State quarterback, Brophy Prep went 12-2 his senior season, capturing the state title. His junior team went 8-3, advancing to the first round of the playoffs, and his sophomore team went 13-1, winning the state championship. An accomplished performer in track (three letters), he was considered one of the nation's top hurdlers in both the 110 and 300.
ACADEMICS-He is majoring in Political Science at Colorado.
2011: Missed two games due to a concussion and played most of the season with a cracked sternum.
Born April 22, 1990 in Flagstaff, Ariz. His father (Raymond) played cornerback for Oklahoma State and was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in the 12th round of the 1985 NFL draft; he was traded to Tampa Bay before a torn hamstring ended his career. His father's uncle (Curtis Looper) is currently the running backs coach at Oklahoma State. One of his favorite things to do is visit Mission Beach, Calif., with a group of his friends every year. He has logged 70 hours of community service at the Upward Foundation, where he helps mentally challenged kids. The oldest of five boys in his family, his full name is Raymond Ray Polk and often goes by the nickname "Ray-Ray."
- ROB RANG'S 2013 NFL DRAFT DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: Ray Polk, Colorado, 6-1, 219, 4.42* ... Demonstrating a combination of physicality and athleticism to go along with his prototypical size, Polk was a surprising combine snub. He certainly made up for it during his Pro Day, registering times in the low 4.4s in the 40-yard dash, a 39" vertical jump, 10-6" broad jump and 19 repetitions of 225 pounds, each which would have ranked among the elite among his position at the combine. Polk's impressive workout isn't the only reason why it was surprising that he wasn't invited to Indianapolis. After a career in which he showed blatant disregard for his own well-being (as well as the health of others), teams may to formulate a consensus medical grade on the big-hitter. While perhaps a bit stiff in coverage, Polk certainly has the explosive closing speed to intrigue as a late-round in-the-box safety and special teams demon.
Five Other Safeties to Consider: 1. John Boyett, Oregon, 5-10, 204, 4.65 (est.) ... 2. Josh Evans, Florida, 6-1, 207, 4.54 ... 3. Cooper Taylor, Richmond, 6-5, 228, 4.49* ... 4. Duke Williams, Nevada, 5-11, 203, 4.48 ... 5. J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern, 6-0, 213, 4.51 - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
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