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Originally published Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Huskies Notebook | Tough year for recruit

When Washington's season began, freshman Chris Polk was among the most anticipated players and fans were eager to see the running back who...

Seattle Times staff reporter

When Washington's season began, freshman Chris Polk was among the most anticipated players and fans were eager to see the running back who spurned USC for the Huskies.

Nowadays, after two lackluster starts and a separated shoulder, he spends his afternoons running the steps of Husky Stadium while his teammates practice.

Polk recently had surgery to repair his left shoulder and will redshirt this year.

The surgery, he said, revealed more damage than doctors anticipated.

"They said it was way worse than they expected," he said, adding, "I didn't expect this much pain."

Polk said he couldn't remember all they told him was wrong with it other than, "they had to stitch my labrum down to my bone."

Polk was injured when he tried to stiff-arm a BYU player in the second game of the season.

"When the impact came, my shoulder popped out," said the graduate of Redlands (Calif.) East Valley High.

Polk said he still can't lift his arm enough to put on his clothes in the morning, though it's slowly getting better in hourlong daily rehab sessions. He said he expects to be ready in the spring.

Polk struggled in two games, gaining 33 yards on 20 carries, and those travails, combined with the injury, have led to some rumors that he's unhappy at UW.

Polk, however, said, "This is where I want to be," and said he doesn't regret his decision to renege on a USC commitment, which was spurred in part by his mother, who liked UW coach Tyrone Willingham. Willingham might soon be gone, but Polk said he wouldn't worry about that until it happens, if it does, but that he sees his future at UW.

He said his only regret is that he didn't take seriously enough preseason conditioning to prepare for the season.

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"I felt like I was in great shape already so I didn't really focus on conditioning," he said. "I'll know what to expect next year."

'78 tribute organizer says all's well

Tom Turnure, a center on the 1978 Rose Bowl champion team that was honored Saturday at Husky Stadium, said Wednesday he was surprised to hear there was some lingering controversy regarding the day's events.

Turnure, now the chairman of the Tyee Club board of advisers, helped organize the reunion.

Some wondered why none of the players spoke to the current team and have criticized Willingham's response to a question about whether he thought about asking them. Willingham said on his radio show "three or four months" of advance notice would have been needed to make it work.

Turnure said none of the 1978 players expressed any interest in speaking to the team and that he's not sure any of them would have wanted to.

"That really surprised me that anyone would say they wanted us to go speak to the team beforehand," he said. "That doesn't make any sense."

Turnure said a lot of players didn't even get to the stadium until after the game had started because of a pregame function that served as a reunion.

"I think it's much ado about nothing," he said.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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