Polk and head coach talk Navy commitment

GoMids.com caught up with Denzel Polk, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end/outside linebacker at Kingsway Regional High School in Swedesboro, N.J., and his head coach Tony Barchuk. It was Barchuk, an N.C. State grad, who reached out to former Wolfpack coach, Buddy Green, to let Navy know he had "something special" in Polk.

Denzel Polk Bio

"Well, Denzel is a terrific person, number one," Barchuk said. "Number two, he's been an awesome player for us in South Jersey the past two seasons. We use him at defensive end and outside linebacker. He shows excellent determination out there. Denzel's a tough, hard-nosed player with a good head on his shoulders. He's one of those guys who just loves to play the game.

"When Denzel received the Navy offer, he was into it right away. He embraced the disciple aspect of the academy, liked the structure of it, the no-nonsense. Then he took a look at who Navy plays. They go up against the toughest team out there and compete with them year after year. It's ridiculous how well they've done in recent years. I think he likes the challenge of playing on that team and carrying on the tradition."

Polk agrees with his coach that it was Navy's football history, both past, present, and hopefully, future, that caught his attention, but it was also the opportunity to serve his country that led to his commitment in July.

"I see it as a way for me to give back to my country," Polk said. "Men and women have come before me and fought overseas and on our land to keep our freedom intact. I'm thankful for what they did and think it's the best thing I can do myself.

"Coach Pehrson came in with an offer at outside linebacker. They told me they fell in love with my speed off the edge and plan on using me a lot as a pass rusher. It was the education mostly that attracted me to Navy when they offered. It was pretty much the combination of top-of-the-line football and the best education in the country that led to my commitment this summer in late July.

"I've been to two games this season. I was at the Western Kentucky game and the Ohio State game which was played at the Ravens stadium in Baltimore. I liked Annapolis. It felt like a big town, but with a small town feel. People who I didn't even know were coming up to me to say hello. Everybody I met was very welcoming. The team is 4-4 right now. It's a season, you know, with highs and low along the way. They've responded each week and look like they're getting better and better as the season progresses."

Kingsway Regional is also 3-3 and looking to extend their season in the playoffs. Coach Barchuk says Polk, who is leading the Dragons in tackles and sacks this season, is a big reason the team has stayed in the playoff hunt.

"Denzel has an excellent knowledge and understanding of the game that he's gained from his experience as a starter these past three seasons," said Barchuk. "He plays with great anticipation. His parents have done a terrific job raising him. He's done everything here that we've asking him to do, but also has taken on the role of a leader looking out for others to work hard and to play as one unit on the field."

Polk gave his verbal commitment to Navy over heavy interest from Boston College, Pittsburgh and N.C. State.

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