High motor defender has place in the NFL
By Denis Savage
Had he come out as a junior, he may very well have been a first round selection. But this defensive lineman decided to come back for his senior year to "grow up", calling it the best decision of his adult life.
Playing in the SEC, David Pollack has seen his share of excitement. He has seen the rowdiness associated with the gridiron. The Georgia fanatics packed the stadium and had a lot to cheer about, particularly when Pollack was lining up on defense and getting into the opposition's backfield.
"I'm quick off the ball, which really helps," he said. "Whoever gets the edge usually has a big advantage. I'm going to play with everything I've got, rush the passer, play the run. I can do a lot of things."
When he was moved to defensive end as a sophomore in 2002, Pollack turned on the jets. That year he tallied 14 sacks (a new school record) and 23.5 tackles for a loss - in his first year of extended playing time.
Two years later, he leaves the Georgia program as one of the best ever. One of only two Georgia players to ever be named to first-team All-American three times (Herschel Walker), Pollack decimated the school sack record with 36 (29, Richard Tardits).
Pollack also won the 2004 Rotary Lombardi Award (nation's outstanding lineman), 2004 Chuck Bednarik Award (nation's outstanding defensive player), 2004 Ronnie Lott Trophy (defensive IMPACT Player of the Year), and the 2003 and 2004 Ted Hendricks Award (nation's outstanding defensive end). He was also a finalist for the 2002 and 2004 Bronko Nagurski Award.
Pollack was named the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year in both 2002 and 2004 by the Associated Press and the SEC Coaches. He was the Associated Press Player of the Year in '02.
During his career he also started 45 consecutive games and was named the MVP of the 2005 Outback Bowl after recording three QB sacks, three tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble, one recovered fumble, and one deflected pass.
It was never about the awards.
"I don't care how many awards you win," said Pollack. "It doesn't make you better than anyone else."
Rather than the focus on awards, Pollack wanted wins. He was a quintessential leader that practiced as hard as he played.
Pollack combines strength and the rare ability to detect the ball making its swift ascension to the quarterback when it is hiked. That crucial first step, Pollard has down to a science.
The knock on him, however, is his size.
"I've been sleeping upside down," Pollard joked. "It's not working. One thing I'm proud of. I can't control how tall I am, but I can control what I do. If the [question] is going to be about my height, I'll be pretty successful."
The only other question is how many people are looking at him to play linebacker.
"A lot of teams are going to the 3-4. I'm a versatile guy. You want a guy to play numerous positions. I can play wherever. Linebacker, defensive end. I switched positions three times at Georgia. I came in as a fullback, people got hurt, and I was switched to defensive tackle my freshman year (weighed 255 at the time). I moved to defensive end my sophomore year."
What can't be questioned is his ability on the field. With 109 quarterback pressures over the past three years, Pollack will fit nicely in any defense. The teams showing the most interest include the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, and Baltimore Ravens.
And the list of teams interested in the talented end grows each day.
While no specific details on the Patriots interest in Pollack has surfaced, he remains a perfect candidate for the team to consider should he be available when they pick at the 32nd spot in the 2005 Draft. Pollack is a classic tweener the Patriots are well known for utilizing in their flexible defensive schemes.
Find more about Pollack,
or other draft prospects at TheNFLExperts.com